What does spur mean?

Definitions for spur

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word spur.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. goad, goading, prod, prodding, urging, spur, spurringnoun

    a verbalization that encourages you to attempt something

    "the ceaseless prodding got on his nerves"

  2. spur, spine, acanthanoun

    any sharply pointed projection

  3. spurnoun

    tubular extension at the base of the corolla in some flowers

  4. spur, gadnoun

    a sharp prod fixed to a rider's heel and used to urge a horse onward

    "cowboys know not to squat with their spurs on"

  5. branch line, spur track, spurverb

    a railway line connected to a trunk line

  6. spurverb

    incite or stimulate

    "The Academy was formed to spur research"

  7. spur, goadverb

    give heart or courage to

  8. spurverb

    strike with a spur

  9. spurverb

    goad with spurs

    "the rider spurred his horse"

  10. spurverb

    equip with spurs

    "spur horses"


  1. spurnoun

    A rigid implement, often roughly y-shaped, that is fixed to one's heel for purpose of prodding a horse. Often worn by, and emblematic of, the cowboy or the knight.

  2. spurnoun

    Anything that inspires or motivates, as a spur does to a horse.

  3. spurnoun

    An appendage or spike pointing rearward, near the foot, for instance that of a rooster.

  4. spurnoun

    Any protruding part connected at one end, for instance a highway that extends from another highway into a city.

  5. spurnoun

    Roots, tree roots.

  6. spurverb

    To prod (especially a horse) in the side or flank, with the intent to urge motion or haste, to gig.

  7. spurverb

    To urge or encourage to action, or to a more vigorous pursuit of an object; to incite; to stimulate; to instigate; to impel; to drive.

  8. spurverb

    To put spurs on; as, a spurred boot.

  9. Spurnoun

    someone connected with Tottenham Hotspur FC, as a fan, player, coach etc.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. SPURnoun

    Etymology: spura , Sax. spore, Danish, Islandick, and Dutch; esperon, French.

    He borrowing that homely armour for want of a better, had come upon the spur to redeem Philoclea’s picture. Philip Sidney.

    Whether the body politick be
    A horse whereon the governour doth ride,
    Who, newly in the seat, that it may know
    He can command it, lets it straight feel the spur. William Shakespeare.

    He presently set spurs to his horse, and departed with the rest of the company. Richard Knolles, History of the Turks.

    Was I for this entitled, sir,
    And girt with rusty sword and spur,
    For fame and honour to wage battle? Hudibras.

    Seeing then that nothing can move, unless there be some end, the desire whereof provoketh unto motion, how should that divine power of the soul, that spirit of our mind, ever stir itself into action, unless it have also the like spur? Richard Hooker.

    What need we any spur, but our own cause,
    To prick us to redress? William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar.

    His laws are deep, and not vulgar; not made upon the spur of a particular occasion, but out of providence of the future, to make his people more and more happy. Francis Bacon.

    Reward is the spur of virtue in all good arts, all laudable attempts; and emulation, which is the other spur, will never be wanting, when particular rewards are proposed. Dryden.

    The chief, if not only, spur to human industry and action, is uneasiness. John Locke.

    The former may be a spur to the latter, ’till age makes him in love with the study, without any childish bait. George Cheyne.

    Grief and patience, rooted in him both,
    Mingle their spurs together. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    Of birds the bill is of like matter with the teeth: as for their spur, it is but a nail. Francis Bacon.

    Animals have natural weapons to defend and offend; some talons, some claws, some spurs and beaks. John Ray.

    The strong bas’d promontory
    Have I made shake, and pluckt up by the spurs
    The pine and cedar. William Shakespeare.

  2. To Spurverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    My friend, who always takes care to cure his horse of starting fits, spurred him up to the very side of the coach. Addison.

    Your father, when he mounted,
    Rein’d ’em in strongly, and he spurr’d them hard. Dryden.

    Who would be at the trouble of learning, when he finds his ignorance is caressed? But when you brow-beat and maul them, you make them men; for though they have no natural mettle, yet, if they are spurred and kicked, they will mend their pace. Jeremy Collier, on Pride.

    Lovers break not hours,
    Unless it be to come before their time:
    So much they spur their expedition. William Shakespeare.

    Let the awe he has got upon their minds be so tempered with the marks of good-will, that affection may spur them to their duty. John Locke.

    Love will not be spurr’d to what it loaths. William Shakespeare.

  3. To Spurverb

    With backward bows the Parthians shall be there,
    And, spurring from the fight, confess their fear:
    A double wreath shall crown our Cæsar’s brows. Dryden.

    Ascanius took th’ alarm, while yet he led,
    And spurring on, his equals soon o’erpass’d. John Dryden, Æn.

    Some bold men, though they begin with infinite ignorance and errour, yet, by spurring on, refine themselves. Nehemiah Grew.


  1. Spur

    A spur is a metal tool designed to be worn in pairs on the heels of riding boots for the purpose of directing a horse or other animal to move forward or laterally while riding. It is usually used to refine the riding aids (commands) and to back up the natural aids (the leg, seat, hands, and voice). The spur is used in many equestrian disciplines. Most equestrian organizations have rules in about spur design and use and penalties for using spurs in any manner that constitutes animal abuse.


  1. spur

    A spur is a device with a small spike or a spiked wheel that is worn on a rider's heel and used for urging a horse forward. In a broader context, it also refers to something that prompts or encourages an action, or a projection or branch extending outwards from a main structure or area.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Spurnoun

    a sparrow

  2. Spurnoun

    a tern

  3. Spurnoun

    an implement secured to the heel, or above the heel, of a horseman, to urge the horse by its pressure. Modern spurs have a small wheel, or rowel, with short points. Spurs were the badge of knighthood

  4. Spurnoun

    that which goads to action; an incitement

  5. Spurnoun

    something that projects; a snag

  6. Spurnoun

    one of the large or principal roots of a tree

  7. Spurnoun

    any stiff, sharp spine, as on the wings and legs of certain burds, on the legs of insects, etc.; especially, the spine on a cock's leg

  8. Spurnoun

    a mountain that shoots from any other mountain, or range of mountains, and extends to some distance in a lateral direction, or at right angles

  9. Spurnoun

    a spiked iron worn by seamen upon the bottom of the boot, to enable them to stand upon the carcass of a whale, to strip off the blubber

  10. Spurnoun

    a brace strengthening a post and some connected part, as a rafter or crossbeam; a strut

  11. Spurnoun

    the short wooden buttress of a post

  12. Spurnoun

    a projection from the round base of a column, occupying the angle of a square plinth upon which the base rests, or bringing the bottom bed of the base to a nearly square form. It is generally carved in leafage

  13. Spurnoun

    any projecting appendage of a flower looking like a spur

  14. Spurnoun

    ergotized rye or other grain

  15. Spurnoun

    a wall that crosses a part of a rampart and joins to an inner wall

  16. Spurnoun

    a piece of timber fixed on the bilge ways before launching, having the upper ends bolted to the vessel's side

  17. Spurnoun

    a curved piece of timber serving as a half to support the deck where a whole beam can not be placed

  18. Spurverb

    to prick with spurs; to incite to a more hasty pace; to urge or goad; as, to spur a horse

  19. Spurverb

    to urge or encourage to action, or to a more vigorous pursuit of an object; to incite; to stimulate; to instigate; to impel; to drive

  20. Spurverb

    to put spurs on; as, a spurred boot

  21. Spurverb

    to spur on one' horse; to travel with great expedition; to hasten; hence, to press forward in any pursuit

  22. Etymology: [See Sparrow.]


  1. Spur

    Spur is a city in Dickens County, Texas, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 1,088. On October 9, 2009, Spur celebrated its centennial with the dedication of a Giant Spur sculpture. The Giant Spur was built by local welder John Grusendorf. The event, sponsored by the Dickens County Historical Commission, was held at Dyess Park off U.S. Highway 70.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Spur

    spur, n. an instrument on a horseman's heels, with sharp points for goading the horse: that which goads or instigates: something projecting: the hard projection on a cock's leg: a small range of mountains extending laterally from a larger range.—v.t. to urge on with spurs: to urge onward: to impel: to put spurs on.—v.i. to press forward: to travel in great haste:—pr.p. spur′ring; pa.t. and pa.p. spurred.—v.t. Spur′-gall (Shak.), to gall or wound with a spur.—ns. Spur′-gear, -gear′ing, gearing in which spur-wheels are used.—adj. Spur′-heeled, having a long straight hind-claw.—n. Spur′-leath′er, the strap by which the spur is fastened to the foot.—p.adj. Spurred, wearing spurs: having shoots like spurs: affected with ergot, as rye.—ns. Spur′rer, one who, or that which, spurs; Spur′rier, one who makes spurs; Spur′-roy′al, an ancient English coin, worth fifteen shillings, so called from having a star on one side resembling the rowel of a spur; Spur′-way, a bridle-road; Spur′-whang=Spur-leather; Spur′-wheel (mech.), a wheel with the cogs on the face of the edge like a spur.—adj. Spur′-winged, with a horny spur on the pinion, as with the plovers, &c. [A.S. spora; Ice. spori, Ger. sporn.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. spur

    A projecting portion of a cliff. In fortification, spurs are walls that cross a part of the rampart and join to the town-wall. Also, in a sheer-hulk, the same as sprit (which see).

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. spur

    An apparatus fastened to the heel of a horseman, for goading the horse. It is much less used than formerly. All cavalry soldiers wear spurs; but their use, except in the heat of an actual charge, is discouraged as much as possible. In the days of chivalry, the use of the spur was limited to knights, and it was among the emblems of knighthood. To win his spurs, was for a young man to earn knighthood by gallant conduct. The degradation of a knight involved the hacking off of his spurs; and the serving before a knight of a pair of spurs on a dish, was a strong hint by his host that he had outstayed his welcome.

Suggested Resources

  1. SPUR

    What does SPUR stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the SPUR acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.


  1. Spur

    a short, stiff, generally blunt process and usually not articulated at its base: in the plural refers to paired spiniform processes at or near the end of tibia:.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'spur' in Nouns Frequency: #2780

How to pronounce spur?

How to say spur in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of spur in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of spur in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of spur in a Sentence

  1. Luke Metzger:

    Hopefully, this will spur some action from lawmakers to increase accountability for polluters.

  2. Chuck Lorre:

    It helped spur them to move forward and pursue their relationship more aggressively, having realized that you don't know what you've got until it's gone, as the song goes, that happened for Sheldon -- missing Amy was wearing on him in a way he hadn't anticipated.

  3. Francis Quarles:

    Let the fear of danger be a spur to prevent it he that fears not, gives advantage to the danger.

  4. Anuj Puri:

    With the vaccine now coming in across most countries, the significant negative impact of COVID-19 is gradually going to fade away. Various government initiatives taken over the last year to spur growth will eventually bear fruit in 2021.

  5. Carrie Horstman:

    The Sheriff’s Office says the effort will allow residents to feel the shelters are safe and spur more turnout.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for spur

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • esperonar, esperóCatalan, Valencian
  • ostruhaCzech
  • sporeDanish
  • Sporn, anspornen, AnspornGerman
  • sproni, spronoEsperanto
  • prolongación, conexión, espolonear, acicate, incentivar, incitar, motivar, alcurnia, espuela, incentivo, animar, espolear, espolón, acicatear, extensión, estimularSpanish
  • kannustaa, yllyttää, kannustin, kannusFinnish
  • éperon, éperonner, ergotFrench
  • sarkantyúHungarian
  • խթանArmenian
  • memacuIndonesian
  • sprono, diramazione, stimolare, incitare, pungolare, sporgenza, montare gli speroni, incoraggiare, sperone, instigare, propaggini, protuberanza, spronare, divaricazioneItalian
  • 拍車をかける, 行動, 刺激, 突く, 拍車Japanese
  • kipa, taumutuMāori
  • taji, pacuMalay
  • aansporen, bewegen, spoor, aanmoedigenDutch
  • utforskNorwegian
  • ostrogaPolish
  • estimular, provocar, espora, instigarPortuguese
  • îndemnaRomanian
  • подгонять, шпора, корень, побуждать, стимул, пришпорить, отрог, пришпориватьRussian
  • оструга, mamuza, мамуза, ostrugaSerbo-Croatian
  • sporre, sporraSwedish
  • mahmuzTurkish
  • تمباکو نوشیUrdu

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    a hazy or indistinct representation
    A blur
    B obligate
    C moan
    D inspire

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