spike

A spike is a sharp point, often made of metal or wood, but not always. Hedgehogs have long skinny spikes that keep them from being eaten by predators.

The wide metal nails that fasten railroad ties to rails are called "rail spikes." A spike can be big like those rail spikes, or small like the ones on the bottom of a cleat. And, extremely high-heeled shoes are sometimes called "spike heels." When something increases and abruptly decreases, like the price of sugar or a fever, it spikes. To spike a volleyball, smash it over the net. Spike shares a root with the Latin spina, for "spine or thorn."

Definitions of spike
  1. noun
    a long, thin sharp-pointed implement (wood or metal)
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    type of:
    implement
    instrumentation (a piece of equipment or tool) used to effect an end
  2. noun
    a large stout nail
    “they used spikes to fasten the rails to a railroad tie”
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    type of:
    nail
    a thin pointed piece of metal that is hammered into materials as a fastener
  3. noun
    a sharp-pointed projection along the top of a fence or wall (or a dinosaur)
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    type of:
    projection
    any structure that branches out from a central support
  4. noun
    sports equipment consisting of a sharp point on the sole of a shoe worn by athletes
    spikes provide greater traction”
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    types:
    climber, climbing iron, crampon, crampoon
    an iron spike attached to the shoe to prevent slipping on ice when walking or climbing
    piton
    a metal spike with a hole for a rope; mountaineers drive it into ice or rock to use as a hold
    pricket
    a sharp metal spike to hold a candle
    type of:
    sports equipment
    equipment needed to participate in a particular sport
  5. noun
    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”
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    types:
    gaff
    a sharp metal spike or spur that is fastened to the leg of a gamecock
    type of:
    point
    sharp end
  6. noun
    a very high narrow heel on women's shoes
    synonyms: spike heel, stiletto heel
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    type of:
    heel
    the bottom of a shoe or boot; the back part of a shoe or boot that touches the ground and provides elevation
  7. noun
    any holding device consisting of a rigid, sharp-pointed object
    “the spike pierced the receipts and held them in order”
    synonyms: spindle
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    type of:
    holding device
    a device for holding something
  8. verb
    pierce with a sharp stake or point
    synonyms: empale, impale, transfix
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    types:
    pin
    pierce with a pin
    spear
    pierce with a spear
    skewer, spit
    drive a skewer through
    type of:
    pierce, thrust
    penetrate or cut through with a sharp instrument
  9. verb
    secure with spikes
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    type of:
    fasten, fix, secure
    cause to be firmly attached
  10. noun
    a sharp rise followed by a sharp decline
    “the seismograph showed a sharp spike in response to the temblor”
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    type of:
    rise
    a growth in strength or number or importance
  11. noun
    a transient variation in voltage or current
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    type of:
    electrical discharge
    a discharge of electricity
  12. verb
    manifest a sharp increase
    “the voltage spiked
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    type of:
    increase
    become bigger or greater in amount
  13. noun
    (botany) an indeterminate inflorescence bearing sessile flowers on an unbranched axis
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    type of:
    inflorescence
    the flowering part of a plant or arrangement of flowers on a stalk
  14. noun
    fruiting spike of a cereal plant especially corn
    synonyms: capitulum, ear
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    types:
    mealie
    an ear of corn
    type of:
    fruit
    the ripened reproductive body of a seed plant
  15. verb
    bring forth a spike or spikes
    “my hyacinths and orchids are spiking now”
    synonyms: spike out
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    type of:
    develop
    grow, progress, unfold, or evolve through a process of evolution, natural growth, differentiation, or a conducive environment
  16. verb
    stand in the way of
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    type of:
    banish, bar, relegate
    expel, as if by official decree
  17. verb
    add alcohol to (beverages)
    synonyms: fortify, lace
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    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
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