Definitions

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

  • n. A long, thick, sharp-pointed piece of wood or metal.
  • n. A heavy nail.
  • n. A spikelike part or projection, as:
  • n. A sharp-pointed projection along the top of a fence or wall.
  • n. A thin, sharp-pointed vertical rod for impaling papers; a spindle.
  • n. A thorn or spine.
  • n. A tuft of hair waxed or twisted so as to project in a stiff point.
  • n. Slang A hypodermic needle.
  • n. One of several sharp metal projections set in the sole or in the sole and heel of an athletic shoe for grip.
  • n. A pair of athletic shoes having such projections.
  • n. A pair of spike heels.
  • n. An unbranched antler of a young deer.
  • n. A young mackerel of small size, usually 15 centimeters (6 inches) or less in length.
  • n. A sharp rise followed by a sharp decline in a graph or in the tracing of a scientific instrument.
  • n. A sharp momentary increase in voltage or electric current.
  • n. A sudden steep increase in prices.
  • n. Sports The act of driving a volleyball at a sharp angle into the opponent's court by jumping near the net and hitting the ball down hard from above.
  • n. Football The act of slamming the ball to the ground after succeeding in an important play, as after scoring a touchdown.
  • transitive v. To secure or provide with a spike.
  • transitive v. To shape into spikes.
  • transitive v. To impale, pierce, or injure with a spike.
  • transitive v. To injure with spiked shoes, especially when sliding in baseball.
  • transitive v. To put an end to; terminate: spike a rumor.
  • transitive v. Informal To add alcoholic liquor to: spiked the punch with rum.
  • transitive v. Informal To add a poison or other chemical to: a drink spiked with barbituates.
  • transitive v. Informal To add flavor or spice to: "several herb vinegars, including one . . . spiked with colorful chive blossoms” ( New England Living).
  • transitive v. Informal To add excitement or vitality to: spiked the speech with many jokes.
  • transitive v. Sports To hit (a volleyball) in a spike.
  • transitive v. Football To throw (the ball) down in a spike.
  • transitive v. To render (a muzzleloading gun) useless by driving a spike into the vent.
  • transitive v. To manifest (a sharp increase in body temperature): spike a high fever.
  • n. An ear of grain, as of wheat.
  • n. Botany A usually elongated, unbranched inflorescence with stalkless flowers arranged along an axis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sort of very large nail; also, a piece of pointed iron set with points upward or outward.
  • n. Anything resembling such a nail in shape.
  • n. An ear of grain.
  • n. A kind of inflorescence in which sessile flowers are arranged on an unbranched elongated axis.
  • n. Running shoes with spikes in the soles.
  • n. A sharp peak in a graph.
  • n. An attack from, usually, above the height of the net performed with the intent to send the ball straight to the floor of the opponent or off the hands of the opposing block.
  • n. An adolescent male deer.
  • n. a surge in power.
  • n. The casual ward of a workhouse.
  • n. spike lavender
  • v. To covertly put alcohol or another intoxicating substance in a drink that previously did not contain such substances.
  • v. To add a small amount of one substance to another.
  • v. To attack from, usually, above the height of the net with the intent to send the ball straight to the floor of the opponent or off the hands of the opposing block.
  • v. To render (a gun) unusable by driving a metal spike into its touch hole.
  • v. To decide not to publish or make public.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sort of very large nail; also, a piece of pointed iron set with points upward or outward.
  • n. Anything resembling such a nail in shape.
  • n. An ear of corn or grain.
  • n. A kind of flower cluster in which sessile flowers are arranged on an unbranched elongated axis.
  • n. Spike lavender. See lavender.
  • transitive v. To fasten with spikes, or long, large nails.
  • transitive v. To set or furnish with spikes.
  • transitive v. To fix on a spike.
  • transitive v. To stop the vent of (a gun or cannon) by driving a spike nail, or the like into it.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To fasten with spikes or long and large nails: as, to spike down the planks of a floor or a bridge.
  • To set with spikes; furnish with spikes.
  • To fix upon a spike.
  • To make sharp at the end.
  • To plug up the vent of with a spike, as a cannon.
  • In base-ball and foot-racing, to strike or injure (a player) with the spikes in the shoes.
  • n. A sharp point; a pike; a sharp-pointed projection.
  • n. A large nail or pin, generally of iron.
  • n. An ear, as of wheat or other grain.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Hence A sprig of some plant in which the flowers form a spike or somewhat spike-like cluster: as, a spike of lavender.
  • n. Same as spike-lavender.
  • n. 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.

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

  • n. a long, thin sharp-pointed implement (wood or metal)
  • n. a very high narrow heel on women's shoes
  • n. (botany) an indeterminate inflorescence bearing sessile flowers on an unbranched axis
  • n. sports equipment consisting of a sharp point on the sole of a shoe worn by athletes
  • v. add alcohol to (beverages)
  • v. pierce with a sharp stake or point
  • n. each of the sharp points on the soles of athletic shoes to prevent slipping (or the shoes themselves)
  • v. manifest a sharp increase
  • n. a large stout nail
  • v. stand in the way of
  • n. a sharp-pointed projection along the top of a fence or wall (or a dinosaur)
  • v. secure with spikes
  • n. any holding device consisting of a rigid, sharp-pointed object
  • n. a sharp rise followed by a sharp decline
  • v. bring forth a spike or spikes
  • n. a transient variation in voltage or current
  • n. fruiting spike of a cereal plant especially corn

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old Norse spīk.
Middle English, from Latin spīca.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin spīca "ear of grain" (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Local Government Association chief John Ransford said there had been a "short term spike" in redundancies as councils made changes to cut long-term costs.

    BBC News - Home

  • At first, OPM officials attributed the poor performance to what they described as a spike in traffic from first-time visitors and old members logging in to check passwords.

    The Washington Post: National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines - The Washington Post

  • "The roll you get in the 'spike' is that 'ard you can't eat it nicely with less'n a pint of water," said the Carpenter, for my benefit.

    THE CARTER AND THE CARPENTER

  • ` The roll you get in the "spike" is that 'ard you can't eat it nicely with less'n a pint of water,' said the Carpenter, for my benefit.

    The Carter and the Carpenter

  • A short-term spike in borrowing costs is a manageable problem for Italy, since only a small part of its debts need to be refinanced at a given time.

    Exit From Italian Debt Spurs Fears

  • Mr. Belton says a near-term spike in Treasury rates isn't likely, even without a debt deal.

    What a Downgrade Means for You

  • I thought the girls dress code here was Daisy Duke in spike heels.

    Cheeseburger Gothic » Ladies Lounge

  • (That explains why I didn't have a pain spike when I went from it to Gabitril).

    Thor's Day

  • Iran is threatening to close the Strait because it knows it can be squeezed out of the oil market without a significant long-term spike in oil prices.

    The Embargo That Can't Wait

  • But unless anyone seriously believes commodity prices are going to continue rising by 50% a year, VAT will keep going up 2% a year and sterling depreciating 20% a year, a sensible starting assumption is that this is a short-term spike.

    King Right on Inflation, Wrong on Banks

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