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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Spur


SPUR, noun

1. An instrument having a rowel or little wheel with sharp points, worn on horsemens heels, to prick the horses for hastening their pace.

Girt with rusty sword and spur

Hence, to set spurs to a horse, is to prick him and put him upon a run.

2. Incitement; instigation. The love of glory is the spur to heroic deeds.

3. The largest or principal root of a tree; hence perhaps, the short wooden buttress of a post; [that is, in both cases, a shoot.]

4. The hard pointed projection on a cocks leg, which serves as an instrument of defense and annoyance.

5. Something that projects; a snag.

6. In America, 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.

7. That which excites. We say, upon the spur of the occasion; that is, the circumstances or emergency which calls for immediate action.

8. A sea swallow.

9. The hinder part of the nectary in certain flowers, shaped like a cocks spur

10. A morbid shoot or excrescence in grain, particularly in rye.

11. In old fortifications, a wall that crosses a part of the rampart and joins to the town wall.

SPUR, verb transitive

1. To prick with spurs; to incite to a more hasty pace; as, to spur a horse.

2. To incite; to instigate; to urge or encourage to action, or to a more vigorous pursuit of an object. Some men are spurred to action by the love of glory, others by the love of power. Let affection spur us to social and domestic duties.

3. To impel; to drive.

Love will not be spurrd to what it lothes.

4. To put spurs on.

SPURs of the beams, in a ship, are curving timbers, serving as half beams to support the deck, where whole beams cannot be used.

SPUR, verb intransitive

1. To travel with great expedition.

The Parthians shall be there, and spurring from the fight, confess their fear. [Unusual.]

2. To press forward.

Some bold men--by spurring on, refine themselves.