spur

To spur something on is to get it going, to encourage it, to hasten it or stimulate. Cowboys wear spiky metal tools called spurs on their boots to kick their horses and spur them to greater speed.

Economists talk of lowering interest rates to spur spending. A new source of funding for research will hopefully spur new proposals for research from scientists. An earthquake in China might spur cities in California to a higher standard of earthquake preparedness. You might spur your team on to victory by cheering from the sidelines.

Definitions of spur
  1. noun
    a prod fixed to a rider's heel and used to urge a horse onward
    “cowboys know not to squat with their spurs on”
    synonyms: gad
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    type of:
    goad, prod
    a pointed instrument that is used to prod into a state of motion
  2. noun
    any sharply pointed projection
    synonyms: acantha, spine
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    type of:
    projection
    any solid convex shape that juts out from something
  3. noun
    tubular extension at the base of the corolla in some flowers
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    type of:
    enation, plant process
    a natural projection or outgrowth from a plant body or organ
  4. noun
    a railway line connected to a trunk line
    synonyms: branch line, spur track
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    types:
    loop-line
    a railway branch line that branches from the trunk line and then rejoins it later on
    type of:
    line, rail line, railway line
    the road consisting of railroad track and roadbed
  5. verb
    strike with a spur
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    type of:
    strike
    deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon
  6. verb
    goad with spurs
    “the rider spurred his horse”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    goad
    urge with or as if with a goad
  7. verb
    equip with spurs
    spur horses”
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    type of:
    equip, fit, fit out, outfit
    provide with (something) usually for a specific purpose
  8. verb
    incite or stimulate
    “The Academy was formed to spur research”
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    type of:
    advance, boost, encourage, further, promote
    contribute to the progress or growth of
  9. verb
    give heart or courage to
    synonyms: goad
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    type of:
    encourage
    inspire with confidence; give hope or courage to
  10. noun
    a verbalization that encourages you to attempt something
    synonyms: goad, goading, prod, prodding, spurring, urging
    see moresee less
    type of:
    encouragement
    the expression of approval and support
Word Family