stir·rup | \ˈstər-əp also ˈstir-əp or ˈstə-rəp \

Definition of stirrup 

1 : either of a pair of small light frames or rings for receiving the foot of a rider that are attached by a strap to a saddle and used to aid in mounting and as a support while riding

2 : a piece resembling a stirrup: such as

a : one used as a support or clamp in carpentry and machinery

b : a stirrup-shaped footrest

3 : a rope secured to a yard and attached to a thimble in its lower end for supporting a footrope

4 : stapes

Examples of stirrup in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

To have internal organs checked, a woman is asked to lie down on the exam table with knees bent and place her feet in two stirrups at the base. Colleen Shalby,, "Is that normal? What to expect during a visit to the gynecologist," 25 June 2018 In the exam room, there were soft cloth garments to slip into and velour booties over the metal stirrups. Minda Honey, Longreads, "The Power in Knowing: Black Women, HIV, and the Realities of Safe Sex," 19 June 2018 My left foot came out of the stirrup, but the right one was somehow twisted in the other. Peter Gwin, WSJ, "The Horses That Changed History," 19 June 2018 In fact, Dettori was in excellent spirits before even reaching the trophy stage, literally jumping out of the stirrups following his win and defying gravity in the process. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Had Such a Grand Old Time at the Horse Race," 19 June 2018 According to Semmelhack, these pioneering fellas wore heels while on horseback to make their feet fit better in the stirrups. Southern Living, "The Surprisingly Practical History of High Heels," 15 June 2018 The doctor tells you to lie back, put your legs in the metal stirrups on either side of the table and scoot down. Robin Abcarian,, "Who is protecting our young women from those who masquerade as caring physicians?," 17 May 2018 Fans and spectators can still expect to see events ranging from short stirrups to grand prix. Austen Erblat,, "What happens when Winter Equestrian Festival season ends?," 13 Apr. 2018 Those who know him best won't be the least surprised to see him in the stirrups for a long time to come. Henry Young, CNN, "Jorge Ricardo: The four-decade ride to a new world record," 26 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stirrup.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of stirrup

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stirrup

Middle English stirop, from Old English stigrāp, from stig- (akin to Old High German stīgan to go up) + rāp rope — more at stair, rope

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Phrases Related to stirrup

stirrup pants

Statistics for stirrup

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Time Traveler for stirrup

The first known use of stirrup was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for stirrup



English Language Learners Definition of stirrup

: one of two loops that are attached to a saddle for the rider's feet


stir·rup | \ˈstər-əp \

Kids Definition of stirrup

: either of a pair of small light frames or loops often of metal hung by straps from a saddle and used as a support for the foot of a horseback rider


stir·rup | \ˈstər-əp also ˈstir-əp or ˈstə-rəp\

Medical Definition of stirrup 

1 : stapes

2 : an attachment to an examining or operating table designed to raise and spread the legs of a patient

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