• WordNet 3.6
    • v spur goad with spurs "the rider spurred his horse"
    • v spur equip with spurs "spur horses"
    • v spur strike with a spur
    • v spur give heart or courage to
    • v spur incite or stimulate "The Academy was formed to spur research"
    • n spur a railway line connected to a trunk line
    • n spur 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"
    • n spur a verbalization that encourages you to attempt something "the ceaseless prodding got on his nerves"
    • n spur tubular extension at the base of the corolla in some flowers
    • n spur any sharply pointed projection
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The male platypus has poisonous spurs on its legs
    • Spur (Carp) A brace strengthening a post and some connected part, as a rafter or crossbeam; a strut.
    • Spur (Mining) A branch of a vein.
    • Spur (Shipbuilding) A curved piece of timber serving as a half beam to support the deck where a whole beam can not be placed.
    • Spur 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.
    • Spur (Shipbuilding) A piece of timber fixed on the bilge ways before launching, having the upper ends bolted to the vessel's side.
    • Spur (Arch) 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.
    • n Spur spûr (Zoöl) A sparrow.
    • Spur 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.
    • Spur (Fort) A wall that crosses a part of a rampart and joins to an inner wall.
    • Spur 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. "And on her feet a pair of spurs large."
    • Spur (Bot) Any projecting appendage of a flower looking like a spur.
    • Spur (Zoöl) Any stiff, sharp spine, as on the wings and legs of certain birds, on the legs of insects, etc.; especially, the spine on a cock's leg.
    • Spur (Bot) Ergotized rye or other grain.
    • Spur One of the large or principal roots of a tree.
    • Spur Something that projects; a snag.
    • Spur That which goads to action; an incitement. "Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raiseThat last infirmity of noble mind
      To scorn delights and live laborious days."
    • Spur (Arch) The short wooden buttress of a post.
    • Spur The track of an animal, as an otter; a spoor.
    • Spur To prick with spurs; to incite to a more hasty pace; to urge or goad; as, to spur a horse.
    • Spur To put spurs on; as, a spurred boot.
    • v. i Spur To spur on one's horse; to travel with great expedition; to hasten; hence, to press forward in any pursuit. "Now spurs the lated traveler.""The Parthians shall be there,
      And, spurring from the fight, confess their fear."
      "The roads leading to the capital were covered with multitudes of yeomen, spurring hard to Westminster.""Some bold men, . . . by spurring on, refine themselves."
    • Spur 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. "Love will not be spurred to what it loathes."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Frederic Remington's sculpture The Bronco Buster has mistake in it: the cowboy is wearing his spurs upside down.
    • n spur A pointed instrument worn on the heel by a horseman to goad the horse. The earliest medi-eval spurs were without rowels (see prick-spur, goad-spur); another form had a ball from which a short point projected, and was called the ball-and-spike spur. The rowel was first introduced in the thirteenth century, but was not common until the beginning of the fourteenth. The spurs of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries are sometimes of extraordinary length on account of the projection of the steel fianchers which kept the heel far from the horse's side. See rowel-spur (with cut), also cut under prick-spur.
    • n spur Anything which goads, impels, or urges to action; incitement; instigation; incentive; stimulus: used in this sense in the phrase on or upon the spur of the moment—that is, on a momentary impulse; suddenly; hastily; impromptu.
    • n spur Some projecting thing more or less closely resembling a horseman's spur in form or position. A root of a tree; a large lateral root.
    • n spur plural Short small twigs projecting a few inches from the trunk.
    • n spur A snag; a spine; specifically, in herpetology:
    • n spur An anal spur.
    • n spur A calcar of some frogs.
    • n spur In entomology, a spine or stiff bristle on the leg.
    • n spur In ornithology: A horny modification of the integument of a bird's foot, forming an outgrowth of the nature of a claw, usually sharp-pointed and supported on a bony core, and used as a weapon of offense and defense; a calcar. Such a spur differs from a clan mainly in not ending a digit, but being an offset from the side of the metatarsus; it is also characteristic; of though not confined to the male, and is therefore a secondary sexual character. It is familiar as occurring on the shank of the domestic cock and other gallinaceous birds, and is sometimes double or treble, as in Pavo bicalcaratus and in the genera Galloperdix, Ithaginis, and Polyplectron. See cuts under calcarate, Galloperdix, Ithaginis, pea-fowl, Polyplectron, Rasores, and tarsometatarsus. A similar horny outgrowth on the pinion-bone of the wing in various birds, resembling a claw, but differing in being a lateral offset not terminating a digit. It occurs in certain geese, plovers, pigeons, and jacanas, and is double in the screamer. See cuts under jacana, Palamedea, and spur-winged.
    • n spur In sporting, a gaff, or sharp piercing or cutting instrument fastened upon the natural spur of a game-cock In the pit.
    • n spur In mammalogy, the calcarof some bats.
    • n spur In physical geography, a ridge or line of elevation subordinate to the main body or crest of a mountainrange; one of the lower divisions of a mountain-mass, when this, as is frequently the case, is divided by valleys or gorges. See mountain-chain.
    • n spur A climbing-iron used in mounting telegraph-poles and the like.
    • n spur (J) In carpentry, a brace connecting or strengthening a post and some other part, as a rafter or cross-beam.
    • n spur In architecture, any offset from a wall, etc., as a buttress; specifically, the claw or griffe projecting from the toru sat each of the angles of the base of early Pointed medieval columns.
    • n spur In botany, a calcar; a slender hollow projection from some part of a flower, as from the calyx of columbine and larkspur and the corolla of violets. It is usually nectariferous, being the nectary (nectarium) of Linnæus. The term is also rarely applied to a solid spur-like process. See also cuts under nectary, columbine, and Delphinium.
    • n spur In fortification, a wall that crosses a part of the rampart and joins it to an anterior work; also, a tower or blockhouse placed in the outworks before the port
    • n spur In ship-building;
    • n spur A shore or piece of timber extending from the bilgeways, and fayed and bolted to the bottom of the ship on the stocks.
    • n spur A curved piece of timber serving as a half beam to support the deck where a whole beam cannot be placed.
    • n spur A heavy timber extended from a pier or wharf against the side of a ship to prevent the ship from striking against the pier.
    • n spur In hydraul, engin., awing-dam, or projection built out from a river-bank to deflect the current.
    • n spur On a casting, a fin, or projection of waste metal.
    • n spur A small piece of refractory clay ware with one or more projecting points, used in a kiln to support or separate articles in a saggar during firing, and to prevent the pieces from adhering to the saggar and to each other. Also called stilt.
    • n spur In an auger, a projecting point on the edge, which makes the circular cut, from which the chip is removed by the lip. See cut under auger.
    • n spur The prong on the arms of some forms of patent anchors, for the purpose of catching on the bottom and making the fluke bite or take hold more quickly. See cut under anchor.
    • n spur In printing, a register-point.
    • n spur In anatomy, the angle at which the arteries leave a cavity or trunk.
    • n spur In mining, a branch of a vein; a feeder or dropper.
    • spur To prick or rasp with the point or rowel of a spur.
    • spur Figuratively, to urge or incite.
    • spur To hasten.
    • spur To fasten spurs to, as a horseman's boot, or a solleret.
    • spur To furnish with spurs, as a rider: as, booted and spurred; to furnish with a spur or gaff, as a game-cock.
    • spur To prop; support.
    • spur To prick one's horse with the spur; ride in haste.
    • spur Figuratively, to press forward.
    • n spur The ridge in the interior of a bifurcating tube between the two branches given off from it.
    • n spur In horticulture, a twig or short branch that bears flowers and fruit, in distinction from one that continues to elongate in woody growth.
    • n spur A side-track running out from a main railway line and forming part of a Y.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Spur spur 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 Spur to urge on with spurs: to urge onward: to impel: to put spurs on
    • v.i Spur to press forward: to travel in great haste:—pr.p. spur′ring; pa.t. and pa.p. spurred
    • ***


  • Charles Caleb Colton
    “Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Every calamity is a spur and valuable hint.”
  • George Chapman
    George Chapman
    “Danger, the spur of all great minds.”
  • B. C. Forbes
    “Difficulties should act as a tonic. They should spur us to greater exertion.”
  • David Hume
    “Avarice, the spur of industry.”
  • Jonathan Swift
    “Interest is the spur of the people, but glory that of great souls. Invention is the talent of youth, and judgment of age.”


Spur of the moment - If you do something on the spur of the moment, you do it because you felt like it at that time, without any planning or preparation.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. spure, spore, AS. spura, spora,; akin to D. spoor, G. sporn, OHG. sporo, Icel. spori, Dan. spore, Sw. sporre, and to AS. spor, a trace, footstep, spyrian, to trace, track, examine, and E. spurn,. √171. Cf. Sparrow Spere Spoor Spurn


In literature:

He had felt the touch of the spur.
"The Watchers of the Plains" by Ridgewell Cullum
He dug his spur cruelly into his little pony's flank.
"The Boy Chums in the Forest" by Wilmer M. Ely
Striking the spurs into the sides of his horse, Groot Willem, followed by Hendrik, galloped forward to cut off their retreat.
"The Giraffe Hunters" by Mayne Reid
Bough gave the tired pony both spurs when the prey he hunted came in sight.
"The Dop Doctor" by Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
Before he could speak she pointed to his spurred boot.
"A Modern Mercenary" by Kate Prichard and Hesketh Vernon Hesketh-Prichard
It does not in the least matter that spurs are seldom driven into the sides of horses.
"A Padre in France" by George A. Birmingham
Then my father swore a big oath, and plunged his spurs into his horse's sides.
"Tales From Scottish Ballads" by Elizabeth W. Grierson
Any knight worthy of his spurs should be able to stop any pack of commoners from fighting.
"The Saracen: Land of the Infidel" by Robert Shea
Don't wear spurs until you are quite sure that you won't spur at the wrong time.
"A New Illustrated Edition of J. S. Rarey's Art of Taming Horses" by J. S. Rarey
Use yore heels, I see you got yore spurs on.
"Rimrock Trail" by J. Allan Dunn

In poetry:

Who gives him his spur?
"I," said his Chief,
Exacting and brief,
"I'll give him the spur."
"The New Knighthood" by Rudyard Kipling
And did no thought affect his breast,
Or bid his feet delay?
Ah! no! the crime but adds a zest
To spur his guilty way.
"The Lass Of Fair Wone" by Charlotte Dacre
Full lightly shall the prize be won,
If love be Fortune's spur;
And never maiden stoops to him
Who lifts himself to her.
"Amy Wentworth" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Count Louis, soul of chivalry,
Put trust in plighted word;
By starlight on the broad brown lea,
To bar the strife he spurred.
"Archduchess Anne" by George Meredith
Desperate, as his terror rise,
In the steed the spur he hides;
From himself in vain he flies;
Anxious, restless, on he rides.
"Frederick and Alice" by Sir Walter Scott
She whipped her steed, she spurred her steed,
Till his breast was all a foam;
But nearer unto that tall young knight,
By Our Ladye she could not come.
"Sir Roland" by Andrew Lang

In news:

SACRAMENTO — There was a new face at the Spurs morning shootaround at ARCO Arena on Sunday morning.
Time magazine spurred public debate 40 years ago with a startling question on its cover: "Is God Dead".
Rabbi's use of discretionary funds spurs new policies.
Spurs can't avoid downpour in OKC.
Spurs draftee Joseph has a good attitude, eh.
Posted on August 21, 2011 at 10:47 am by Mike Monroe in Cory Joseph, Spurs.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was pleased with his team's performance as it claimed its third straight victory.
Pompeii, a town southeast of Naples, Italy, built on a spur of prehistoric lava, is just one example.
Violence spurred school district to make security changes.
Posted on September 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm by Dan McCarney in Spurs.
Count Spurs guard Manu Ginobili among those unfazed by the NBA's newfound crackdown on flopping.
Spurs can't wait to face Clippers after eight-day break.
Imagine Entertainment is getting in on the slew of soccer-themed projects spurred by the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, planning a feature film about legendary Brazilian soccer player Pele.
Spurs fall flat in third quarter.
The Spurs had a 10-point lead early in the third quarter but entered the fourth quarter trailing the Magic 76-66.

In science:

These discoveries have spurred much theoretical work.
The Chemical Compositions of Stars with Planets: A Review
More recently, the search for patterns in large datasets has spurred the development and exploration of new tests.
Convex Rank Tests and Semigraphoids
Some arms have spurs (Dobbs and Bonnell 2006) presumably so that they can rotate faster, or anyhow faster than the gas out of the plane, so say Barnabe et al. (2006) and Fratelli and Binney (2006).
Astrophysics in 2006
Different concepts for detectors have evolved[12, 17], as the rapid collider progress has spurred the experimental community.
ILC Reference Design Report Volume 1 - Executive Summary
The latter may correspond to the emission from the North Polar Spur.
Statistics of Galactic Synchrotron and Dust Foregrounds: Spectra, PDFs and Higher-Order Moments