Synonyms of spur

(Entry 1 of 2)

to urge or push forward with or as if with a pointed object
  • gently spurred the horse with his heels

Synonyms for spur

Words Related to spur



Synonyms & Antonyms of spur (Entry 2 of 2)

1 something that arouses action or activity
  • the threat of losing its only sports franchise was the spur the city council needed to finally do something about the rising crime rate

Synonyms for spur

Words Related to spur

Phrases Synonymous with spur

Antonyms for spur

2 a structure that holds up or serves as a foundation for something else
  • a weak wall that might need a spur

Synonyms for spur

Words Related to spur

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About spur

How does the noun spur contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of spur are goad, impulse, incentive, inducement, and motive. While all these words mean "a stimulus to action," spur applies to a motive that stimulates the faculties or increases energy or ardor.

fear was a spur to action

In what contexts can goad take the place of spur?

While the synonyms goad and spur are close in meaning, goad suggests a motive that keeps one going against one's will or desire.

thought insecurity a goad to worker efficiency

When might impulse be a better fit than spur?

The meanings of impulse and spur largely overlap; however, impulse suggests a driving power arising from personal temperament or constitution.

buying on impulse

When could incentive be used to replace spur?

Although the words incentive and spur have much in common, incentive applies to an external influence (such as an expected reward) inciting to action.

a bonus was offered as an incentive

When can inducement be used instead of spur?

While in some cases nearly identical to spur, inducement suggests a motive prompted by the deliberate enticements or allurements of another.

offered a watch as an inducement to subscribe

Where would motive be a reasonable alternative to spur?

The words motive and spur can be used in similar contexts, but motive implies an emotion or desire operating on the will and causing it to act.

a motive for the crime

Learn More About spur

Time Traveler for spur

Time Traveler

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

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Thesaurus Entries Near spur




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Cite this Entry

“Spur.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on spur

Nglish: Translation of spur for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spur for Arabic Speakers


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