1 of 2


spear·​head ˈspir-ˌhed How to pronounce spearhead (audio)
: the sharp-pointed head of a spear
: a leading element, force, or influence in an undertaking or development


2 of 2


spearheaded; spearheading; spearheads

transitive verb

: to serve as leader or leading element of

Examples of spearhead in a Sentence

Noun Her book was the spearhead of the clean water movement. Verb She spearheaded the campaign for better schools. The movement was spearheaded by the teachers' union.
Recent Examples on the Web
Over the decades, the Washington Monthly’s indefatigable and ornery spearhead was Mr. Peters, a New Deal Democrat who served in the legislature of his native West Virginia and once aspired to run the state as governor. Timothy R. Smith, Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2023 Human skulls, valuables such as a bronze spearhead, and offerings—including animal skeletons—have been found at various locations where the sun shone through the openings during the longest and shortest days of the year, according to the municipality. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 22 June 2023 The goal is to slow down any Ukrainian overland attack, giving Russian forces time to attack the mechanized spearheads with air and artillery. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 15 June 2023 In 2016, Suning, the Chinese retail conglomerate, paid $307 million to take a 70 percent stake in Inter, a deal that was — at the time — seen as the spearhead of China’s sudden, lavish and state-approved investment in European soccer. Tariq Panja, New York Times, 8 June 2023 In the first hour of D-day the first spearhead of Allied forces for the liberation of Europe landed by parachute in northern France. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 June 2023 The spearhead was DeSoto qualifying all three of its relay teams for state, which puts DeSoto in position to win its fifth consecutive state championship, winning previously between 2016 and 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the 2020 state meet. Dallas News, 25 Apr. 2021 Weapons, including swords and arrowheads, were found among the burials as well, including one man buried with a metal spearhead in his chest cavity, notes Stefano Vassallo, an archaeologist working for the Italian cultural authority in Palermo who was responsible for excavating many of the bones. Byandrew Curry, science.org, 3 Oct. 2022 Boris Johnson, the UK’s prime minister since 2019 and the spearhead of the 2016 Brexit campaign, resigned today. Cassie Werber, Quartz, 7 July 2022
As a Missouri state senator, Burlison spearheaded a state law seeking to invalidate some federal gun laws. Daniel Desrochers, Kansas City Star, 15 Feb. 2024 April 4, Netflix In the wake of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, Edwin Stanton (Tobias Menzies), his secretary of war, spearheads the search for his assassin, actor John Wilkes Booth (Anthony Boyle). Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2024 Much like my experience spearheading our safety program, everyday behavior is what matters most. Julie Kratz, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 Other Parkland parents spoke out about school safety and gun control, ran for school board seats, spearheaded lawsuits and set up foundations to honor their slain children. Amy Qin, New York Times, 11 Feb. 2024 Fauci helped spearhead the development of effective drugs to treat HIV. Carly Tagen-Dye, Peoplemag, 8 Feb. 2024 Trump Has Promised to Do in a Second Term The photo was part of a larger campaign spearheaded by 4chan trolls to use AI software to dress women on the internet more modestly. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 6 Feb. 2024 The effort was spearheaded by the late U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who used caucuses as a party-building exercise. Anjeanette Damon, ProPublica, 5 Feb. 2024 McDaniel faced a week of withering attacks launched by far-right figures spearheaded by the group Turning Point, a glitzy and well-funded organization founded by 30-year-old media figure Charlie Kirk, who was part of an unsuccessful effort to oust McDaniel last year. Thomas Beaumont and Brian Slodysko The Associated Press, arkansasonline.com, 4 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spearhead.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1937, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spearhead was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near spearhead

Cite this Entry

“Spearhead.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spearhead. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
spear·​head -ˌhed How to pronounce spearhead (audio)
: the head or point of a spear
: a person, thing, or group that is the leading force (as in a development or attack)


2 of 2 verb
: to serve as leader of
spearhead a campaign for better schools

More from Merriam-Webster on spearhead

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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