Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A weapon consisting of a long shaft with a sharply pointed end.
  • n. A shaft with a sharp point and barbs for spearing fish.
  • n. A soldier armed with a spear.
  • transitive v. To pierce with or as if with a spear.
  • transitive v. To catch with a thrust of the arm: spear a football.
  • transitive v. Football To block (an opponent) by ramming with the helmet, in violation of the rules.
  • transitive v. Sports To jab (an opponent) with the blade of a hockey stick, in violation of the rules.
  • intransitive v. To stab at something with or as if with a spear.
  • n. A slender stalk, as of asparagus.
  • intransitive v. To sprout like a spear.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A long stick with a sharp tip used as a weapon for throwing or thrusting, or anything used to make a thrusting motion.
  • n. A soldier armed with such a weapon; a spearman.
  • n. A sharp tool used by fishermen to retrieve fish.
  • n. an illegal maneuver using the end of a hockey stick to strike into another hockey player.
  • n. a running tackle on an opponent performed in professional wrestling.
  • n. A long, thin strip from a vegetable.
  • v. To penetrate or strike with, or as if with, any long narrow object. To make a thrusting motion that catches an object on the tip of a long device.
  • v. To shoot into a long stem, as some plants do.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A long, pointed weapon, used in war and hunting, by thrusting or throwing; a weapon with a long shaft and a sharp head or blade; a lance.
  • n. Fig.: A spearman.
  • n. A sharp-pointed instrument with barbs, used for stabbing fish and other animals.
  • n. A shoot, as of grass; a spire.
  • n. The feather of a horse. See Feather, n., 4.
  • n. The rod to which the bucket, or plunger, of a pump is attached; a pump rod.
  • intransitive v. To shoot into a long stem, as some plants. See spire.
  • transitive v. To pierce with a spear; to kill with a spear.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pierce or strike with a spear or similar weapon: as, to spear fish.
  • To shoot into a long stem; germinate, as barley. See spire.
  • An obsolete form of speer.
  • n. A weapon consisting of a penetrating head attached to a long shaft of wood, designed to be thrust by or launched from the hand at an enemy or at game.
  • n. A man armed with a spear; a spearman.
  • n. A sharp-pointed instrument with barbed tines, generally three or four, used for stabbing fish and other animals; a fish-gig.
  • n. An instrument like or suggestive of an actual spear, as some articles of domestic or mechanical use, one of the long pieces fixed transversely to the beam or body of chevaux-de-frise, in some parts of England a bee's sting, etc.
  • n. One of the pieces of timber which together form the main rod of the Cornish pumping-engine.
  • n. The feather of a horse. Also called the streak of the spear.
  • n. A spire: now used only of the stalks of grasses: as, a spear of wheat.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a long pointed rod used as a tool or weapon
  • v. pierce with a spear
  • v. thrust up like a spear
  • n. an implement with a shaft and barbed point used for catching fish

Etymologies

Middle English spere, from Old English.
Alteration of spire1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English spere, from Proto-Germanic *speri (compare Dutch speer, German Speer, Old Norse spjör), from *sparron (compare Middle Dutch sparre ("rafter"), Old Norse sparri ("spar, rafter"), sperra ("rafter, beam")), from Proto-Indo-European *spar- (compare Latin sparus ("short spear"), Albanian ferrë ("thorn, thornbush")). (Wiktionary)

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