• WordNet 3.6
    • n stirrup support consisting of metal loops into which rider's feet go
    • n stirrup the stirrup-shaped ossicle that transmits sound from the incus to the cochlea
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Stirrup A kind of ring, or bent piece of metal, wood, leather, or the like, horizontal in one part for receiving the foot of a rider, and attached by a strap to the saddle, -- used to assist a person in mounting a horse, and to enable him to sit steadily in riding, as well as to relieve him by supporting a part of the weight of the body. "Our host upon his stirpoes stood anon."
    • Stirrup (Naut) A rope secured to a yard, with a thimble in its lower end for supporting a footrope.
    • Stirrup (Carp. & Mach) Any piece resembling in shape the stirrup of a saddle, and used as a support, clamp, etc. See Bridle iron.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n stirrup A support for the foot of a person mounted on a horse, usually a metal loop with the bottom part flat and corrugated or finished with points to give a hold to the sole of the boot and to aid in mounting. The metal loop is suspended from the saddle by a strap or thong, which in modern saddles is adjustable in length. The stirrup of Arab or other Eastern horsemen has a very broad rest for the foot; this projects sometimes beyond the heel, and the sharp edge of it serves instead of a spur. The stirrups of some modern military saddles have a strong front piece of leather or other material which prevents the foot from passing too far into the loop and protects the front of the leg. See also cut under saddle.
    • n stirrup Nautical, a rope with an eye at its end, through which a foot-rope is rove, and by which it is supported. The ends of stirrups are securely fastened to the yard, and they steady the men when reefing or furling sails.
    • n stirrup In machinery, any piece resembling in shape and functions the stirrup of a saddle, as the iron loop by which a mill-saw hangs from the muley-head or in the sash.
    • n stirrup In carpentry, etc., an iron loop-strap or other device for securing a rafter-post or -strut to a tie, or for supporting a beam, etc.
    • n stirrup A hold for the foot at the end of the stock of a large crossbow, to keep it firm while the bow is bent and the string drawn to the notch. See cut under arbalister.
    • n stirrup In anatomy, the stapes or stirrup-bone.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Stirrup stir′up a ring or hoop suspended by a rope or strap from the saddle, for a horseman's foot while mounting or riding: a rope secured to a yard, having a thimble in its lower end for reeving a foot-rope
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  • Turkish Proverb
    Turkish Proverb
    “If you speak the truth, have a foot in the stirrup.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. stirop, AS. stigrāp,; stīgan, to mount, ascend + rāp, a rope; akin to G. stegreif, a stirrup. √164. See Sty (v. i.), and Rope
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. stigerápstígan, to mount, ráp, a rope.


In literature:

Toes up so that they just rest in the stirrups.
"Burr Junior" by G. Manville Fenn
Feet in the stirrups and seat in the saddle, I hung and rattled with them long-horn cattle.
"Cowboy Songs" by Various
However, it had to be done; so, pulling myself together, I drew my feet from the stirrups, and called upon Sandho to stand fast.
"Charge!" by George Manville Fenn
Yes, I do: my foot might hang in the stirrup and the horse gallop away with me, kicking me every time he strode.
"First in the Field" by George Manville Fenn
Billy, not being a good rider, cried out that he should be off again, as he had got one of his feet out of the stirrup.
"The Three Admirals" by W.H.G. Kingston
By standing up in our stirrups we could obtain a wide view over the country on every side.
"With Axe and Rifle" by W.H.G. Kingston
With knit brows he pondered, one foot in the stirrup, the other still upon the desert, looking at the elegant toy.
"The Man of the Desert" by Grace Livingston Hill
Threw up his arm and fell, and his foot caught in the stirrup.
"The Long Roll" by Mary Johnston
I turned, every bone in my body ached: the weals of the stirrup-leathers smarted and burned.
"In Kings' Byways" by Stanley J. Weyman
In a third interview the Gypsy asked him to leave behind his golden stirrup as a pledge.
"Russian Fairy Tales" by W. R. S. Ralston

In poetry:

Three kings with naught of a care
To a hunting went;
Three kings of stirrup fair
And of yew-bow bent.
"The Death-Sprite" by Cale Young Rice
When the tanner he was in the king's sad-elle,
And his foot in the stirrup was;
He marvelled greatly in his mind,
Whether it were gold or brass.
"King Edward IV. And The Tanner Of Tamworth" by Henry Morley
ERE thou thy foot shalt in the stirrup place,
Beseech thy God to bless thee with his grace,
And keep thee safe, 'till thy return again,
Whene'er thou travellest o'er hill or plain.
"Advice, To The Traveller" by Rees Prichard
Still there can the cross-beam the saddle hangs idle.
The cobweb around the loose stirrup is spun;
The rust's on the spurs, and the dust on the bridle,
And gathering mould on the badges he won.
"Ownerless" by John Shaw Neilson
Preacher, he in his stirrups riz,
His visage kind ov cheerin';
An' keerful look'd along the road,
Over sugarbush an' clearin';
Thar wa'n't a deacon within sight;
Sez he, "My brother, guess you're right."
"Old Spense" by Isabella Valancy Crawford
I know of one feller that quarreled with his brother,
Because he rode with one stirrup longer than t’other.
Some stuck their laigs foreward and held their heels low.
Some held their laigs back and turned down their toe.
"How a Cow Puncher Rode" by Bruce Kiskaddon

In news:

There's a person in our barn who is constantly borrowing things from everyone else—polo wraps, boots, bits, spurs, stirrups, she even used someone else's saddle for the entire show season.
Weinberg's analysis of the Bayeux Tapestry and the medieval tactic of the stirrup and couched lanced is, however, wrong.
The magnetic stirrups seem nice but also are expensive.
Just to the northeast of Andros, on the northeastern edge of the Great Bahamas Bank lie the Berry Islands, a stirrup-shaped chain of 30 cays and numerous smaller islets covering about 30 square miles.
Half chaps that you use when riding englich make sense because you are riding with little english stirrups leathers, but when you have big western fenders the half chap won't really be doing much.
The crossbow 's riser doubles as a foothold and eliminates the extra bulk of a stirrup.
The cold speculum , the stirrups, the swabbing—we can all think of better things to spread our legs for than a pelvic exam.
The strong and lightweight Allen Stirrup Cart holds and transports valuable stirrups or legholders.
Two different size hooks allow this storage cart to hold a variety of stirrups .
Compact and state-of-the-art, the cart will hold any stirrup from any manufacturer.
Kaylin Peysar tentatively lifts her leg over the saddle before securing her feet in the stirrups.
Schuremed's E-Z Lift Great White Intra- Operative Adjustable Stirrups feature a Dual Control Handle that permits simple adjustment of lithotomy.
But when I started weeping midway through my postpartum exam – yes, while my legs were in the stirrups – Dr B gently brought up the topic of Post Partum Depression.
Lift a western saddle 's stirrup or an English saddle 's flap, and try to work your hand between the horse's side and the saddle .
Lara Lowlicht led Wizard, her horse for the summer, out to Stony Hill's short-stirrup ring Tuesday morning.

In science:

For example, the bones in the jaws of the ancestors of mamimals were exapted into the hammer, stirrup and anvil, the bones of the middle ear.
Does Meaning Evolve?