• Some nails, spikes, staples, and other iron hardware used at Jamestown over 300 years ago
    Some nails, spikes, staples, and other iron hardware used at Jamestown over 300 years ago
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v spike manifest a sharp increase "the voltage spiked"
    • v spike add alcohol to (beverages) "the punch is spiked!"
    • v spike bring forth a spike or spikes "my hyacinths and orchids are spiking now"
    • v spike secure with spikes
    • v spike pierce with a sharp stake or point "impale a shrimp on a skewer"
    • v spike stand in the way of
    • n spike sports equipment consisting of a sharp point on the sole of a shoe worn by athletes "spikes provide greater traction"
    • n spike a large stout nail "they used spikes to fasten the rails to a railroad tie"
    • n spike any holding device consisting of a rigid, sharp-pointed object "the spike pierced the receipts and held them in order"
    • n spike a long, thin sharp-pointed implement (wood or metal) "one of the spikes impaled him"
    • n spike a sharp-pointed projection along the top of a fence or wall (or a dinosaur)
    • n spike each of the sharp points on the soles of athletic shoes to prevent slipping (or the shoes themselves) "the second baseman sharpened his spikes before every game","golfers' spikes damage the putting greens"
    • n spike a very high narrow heel on women's shoes
    • n spike a transient variation in voltage or current
    • n spike a sharp rise followed by a sharp decline "the seismograph showed a sharp spike in response to the temblor"
    • n spike (botany) an indeterminate inflorescence bearing sessile flowers on an unbranched axis
    • n spike fruiting spike of a cereal plant especially corn
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Bill Bowerman, the co-founder of the shoe company Nike, got his first shoe idea after staring at a waffle iron. This gave him the idea of using squared spikes to make the shoes lighter
    • Spike (Bot) A kind of flower cluster in which sessile flowers are arranged on an unbranched elongated axis.
    • Spike A sort of very large nail; also, a piece of pointed iron set with points upward or outward.
    • Spike An ear of corn or grain.
    • Spike Anything resembling such a nail in shape. "He wears on his head the corona radiata . . . ; the spikes that shoot out represent the rays of the sun."
    • n Spike (Bot) Spike lavender. See Lavender.
    • Spike To fasten with spikes, or long, large nails; as, to spike down planks.
    • Spike To fix on a spike.
    • Spike To set or furnish with spikes.
    • Spike To stop the vent of (a gun or cannon) by driving a spike nail, or the like into it.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n spike A sharp point; a pike; a sharp-pointed projection. A long nail or pointed iron inserted in something with the point outward, as in chevaux defrise, the top of a wall, gate, or the like, as a defense or to hinder passage. See cut under chevaux-de-frise.
    • n spike A large nail or pin, generally of iron. The larger forms of spikes, particularly railroad-spikes, are chisel-pointed, and have a head or fang projecting to one side to bite the rail. Spikes are also made split, barbed, grooved, and of other shapes. Sec cut in preceding column.
    • n spike An ear, as of wheat or other grain.
    • n spike In botany, a flower-cluster or form of inflorescence in which the flowers are sessile (or apparently so) along an elongated, unbranched common axis, as in the well-known mullen and plantain. There are two modifications of the spike that have received distinct names, although not distinguishable by exact and constant characters. They are spadix and catkin. In the Equisetaceæ a spike is an aggregation of sporophyls at the apex of a shoot. Compare raceme, and see cuts under inflorescence, barley, papyrus, and Equisetaceæ.
    • n spike Hence A sprig of some plant in which the flowers form a spike or somewhat spike-like cluster: as, a spike of lavender.
    • spike To fasten with spikes or long and large nails: as, to spike down the planks of a floor or a bridge.
    • spike To set with spikes; furnish with spikes.
    • spike To fix upon a spike.
    • spike To make sharp at the end.
    • spike To plug up the vent of with a spike, as a cannon.
    • n spike Same as spike-lavender.
    • spike In base-ball and foot-racing, to strike or injure (a player) with the spikes in the shoes.
    • n spike A disease of the pineapple in which the plants are dwarfed and the leaves become narrow and crowded; also a disease which destroys sandalwood timber in India.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Spike spīk an ear of corn:
    • v.t Spike to set with spikes: to stop the vent of with a cast-iron spike driven in hard and then broken off, as by soldiers obliged to abandon their own guns or unable to remove those of the enemy which they have captured
    • n Spike spīk (bot.) an inflorescence in which sessile flowers, or flowers having very short stalks, are arranged around an axis: a small pointed rod: a large nail
    • ***


Head on a spike - If someone wants a head on a spike, they want to be able to destroy or really punish a person.
Spike your guns - If you spike someone's guns, you ruin their plans.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Akin to LG. spiker, spieker, a large nail, D. spijker, Sw. spik, Dan. spiger, Icel. spīk,; all perhaps from L. spica, a point, an ear of grain; but in the sense of nail more likely akin to E. spoke, of a wheel. Cf. Spine
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. spica, an ear of corn.


In literature:

The gate was then shut, lest the enemy should return, and all the guns were immediately spiked.
"True Blue" by W.H.G. Kingston
The stalks are taller, the spikes lower and looser, and the flowers smaller, than those of the last named.
"The Field and Garden Vegetables of America" by Fearing Burr
There is an iron spike on the wall there, on which is fixed the head of your poor friend Castello.
"The Pirate City" by R.M. Ballantyne
Down comes the beam, driving the spike deep into his back.
"Black Ivory" by R.M. Ballantyne
To be thrown down so violently was bad enough, but to be spiked in the leg hurt so much that Jack could not repress a gasp of pain.
"The Rover Boys at Colby Hall" by Arthur M. Winfield
Her officers recognized the spikes.
"A Son Of The Sun" by Jack London
Both sorts are to be found upon every spike of bloom, as the inflorescence begins at the base and proceeds upward.
"My Studio Neighbors" by William Hamilton Gibson
The spikes had seemingly been cleared off the tunnel roof and left to be carried away.
"The Winged Men of Orcon" by David R. Sparks
Captain Robert lay scarcely fifteen paces from us, and by his side the hammer, spike, and petard he had carried.
"In Kings' Byways" by Stanley J. Weyman
In every case the body of all orders of Saubas is solidly built, with the thorax and head protected by spikes.
"Across Unknown South America" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

In poetry:

But O the cruelty that strikes
My elder heart with dread
The writhing form upon the spikes,
The trickled pool of red!
"The Child Impaled" by John Le Gay Brereton
Loudly now as swiftly, swiftly,
O'er the glimmering sands she speeds;
Wildly now as in the furzes
From the piercing spikes she bleeds.
"Daphne" by George Meredith
I see the tall mast as it rocks by the shore;
The sun is declining, I see it once more;
To-day like the blade in a thick-waving field,
To-morrow the spike on a Highlander's shield.
"Farewell To J. R. Lowell" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Brown-cowled hammermen around
Nerve their naked arms to strike
Death with Resurrection crowned,
Each upon that cruel spike.
Red of heat the furnace leaps,
White of heat transfigured sleeps.
"The Song Of Theodolinda" by George Meredith
The nightingale among his roses sleeps;
The soft-eyed doe in thicket deep is sleeping;
The dark green myrrh her tears of fragrance weeps,
And, every odorous spike in limpid dew is steeping.
"Midnight" by Maria Gowen Brooks
A splendid sun betwixt the trees
Long spikes of flame did shoot,
When turning to the fragrant South,
With longing eyes and burning mouth,
I stretched a hand athwart the drouth,
And plucked at cooling fruit.
"Aileen" by Henry Kendall

In news:

Number of STI Cases in Lane County Spike According to Health Officials.
As sales and heart rates spike, it's a good time to question the trends and find healthier ways to power up.
Kevin Winter / Getty Images for Spike TV file.
McAllen Rowe Alum Oyervidez To Hang Up The Spikes.
Brandon Spikes gives Patriots edge.
Kanab's drinking water must be spiked.
Six-Inch Spikes Are Painfully Hot Trend.
There will be a hedgehog look-aling contest and people coming to the park are encouraged to spike their hair like the animal.
Geneticists spike some of their really wacky gene names.
The NYPD is ramping up subway patrols to combat a spike in felonies on the trains, with a surge coming on the weekend because that's when 46% of all subway crimes happen, the MTA said Monday.
Spike in Motorcycle Accidents Prompts Social Media Campaign from KSP.
Bali Bar, Paris Vendome, Dralion, Passport, Nikita, Spike and now the bar nestled in Tom Tom's extension.
Why would they defy gravity and spike upwards.
This column was written by Jonathan H. Congressional leaders are rushing to "do something" about near-record gasoline prices and the looming threat of further price spikes this summer.
Ike couldn't spike Frog at Home owner's spunk.

In science:

Instead of ωp , we can spike up the equation with any nonzero highest weight λ, but the proof is essentially the same.
Unique decomposition of tensor products of irreducible representations of simple algebraic groups
Thus the ∗-convergence asserted in (iv) is compatible with the possible presence of upward “spikes” on the mapping-walk, which have arbitrary large height but vanishing weight.
Weak convergence of random p-mappings and the exploration process of inhomogeneous continuum random trees
In addition, we discuss the dynamics associated with recurring spike formation.
Asymptotic silence of generic cosmological singularities
However, there are indications that spiky features, closely related to the spikes in Gowdy vacuum spacetimes, form along exceptional timelines; for such timelines neither C nor ∆ has a limit.
Asymptotic silence of generic cosmological singularities
As in the Gowdy case, spike formation is caused by the occurrence of a zero for one of these variables at a point (t, x(t)) when the system is close to K.
Asymptotic silence of generic cosmological singularities