WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
spike1 /spaɪk/USA pronunciation
n., v., spiked, spik•ing. n. [countable]
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
- Building, Rail Transporta naillike fastener, 3 to 12 in. (7.6 to 30.5 cm) long, for fastening together heavy timbers.
- something resembling such a nail, as a piece of metal sticking out of the heel and sole of a shoe for improving gripping power.
- Clothingspikes, [plural]
- Clothingshoes having such metal parts on the heel and sole, as for playing baseball.
- Clothingshoes having very high, slender heels that resemble spikes.
- a sudden increase or rise:a sharp spike in the unemployment statistics.
spik•y, adj., -i•er, -i•est.
- Building to fasten or secure with a spike or spikes:[~ + object]to spike the railroad ties.
- [~ + object] to pierce with a spike.
- to prevent or suppress:[~ + object]to spike a rumor before it starts to spread.
- Informal Terms[~ + object]
- to add alcoholic liquor to (a drink):Someone had spiked the punch with vodka.
- to rise or increase sharply:[no object; sometimes: ~ + up]Interest rates have spiked (up).
(spīk),USA pronunciation n., v., spiked, spik•ing. n.
- Building, Rail Transporta naillike fastener, 3 to 12 in. (7.6 to 30.5 cm) long and proportionately thicker than a common nail, for fastening together heavy timbers or railroad track.
- something resembling such a nail;
a stiff, sharp-pointed piece or part:to set spikes in the top of a cement wall.
- a sharp-pointed piece of metal set with the point outward, as on a weapon.
- an abrupt increase or rise:a chart showing a spike of unusual activity in the stock market; a sudden spike of electrical current.
- Clothinga rectangular or naillike metal projection on the heel and sole of a shoe for improving traction, as of a baseball player or a runner.
- Clothingspikes, a pair of shoes having such projections.
- Zoologythe unbranched antler of a young deer.
- Botanya flower stalk. See illus. under inflorescence.
- Statisticsa pointed portion of a continuous curve or graph, usually rising above the adjacent portion:a spike in the value of the voltage.
- Sport[Volleyball.]a hard smash, hit close to the net, almost straight down into the opponent's court.
- Slang Termsa hypodermic needle.
- Buildingto fasten or secure with a spike or spikes.
- to provide or set with a spike or spikes.
- to pierce with or impale on a spike.
- to set or stud with something suggesting spikes.
- Sportto injure (another player or a competitor) with the spikes of one's shoe, as in baseball.
- Sport[Volleyball.]to hit (a ball in the air) with a powerful, overarm motion from a position close to the net so as to cause it to travel almost straight down into the court of the opponents.
- Sport[Football.]to slam (the ball) to the ground in the end zone, after scoring a touchdown.
- Militaryto render (a muzzle-loading gun) useless by driving a spike into the touchhole.
- to make ineffective;
frustrate or thwart:to spike a rumor; to spike someone's chances for promotion.
- Informal Terms
- to add alcoholic liquor to (a drink).
- to add (a chemical, poison, or other substance) to:The cocoa was spiked with cyanide.
- Journalismto refuse (a story) by or as if by placing on a spindle.
- to rise or increase sharply (often fol. by up):Interest rates spiked up last week.
- spike someone's guns. See gun 1 (def. 10).
spike2 (spīk),USA pronunciation
- Old Norse spīkr nail; akin to Old Norse spīk, Middle Low German spīker nail
- Middle English spik(e) (noun, nominal) 1300–50
- an ear, as of wheat or other grain.
- Botanyan inflorescence in which the flowers are without a stalk, or apparently so, along an elongated, unbranched axis. See illus. under inflorescence.
- 1350–1400; Middle English; probably special use of spike1, influenced by Latin spīca ear of grain
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
spike /spaɪk/ n
- a sharp point
- any sharp-pointed object, esp one made of metal
- a long metal nail
- (plural) shoes with metal projections on the sole and heel for greater traction, as used by athletes
- Brit slang
another word for dosshouse
Etymology: 13th Century spyk; related to Old English spīcing nail, Old Norse spīk splinter, Middle Low German spīker spike, Norwegian spīk spoke², Latin spīca sharp point; see spike²
- to secure or supply with or as with spikes
- to render ineffective or block the intentions of; thwart
- to impale on a spike
- to add alcohol to (a drink)
- to hit (a ball) sharply downwards with an overarm motion from the front of one's own court into the opposing court
- (formerly) to render (a cannon) ineffective by blocking its vent with a spike
- spike someone's guns ⇒ to thwart someone's purpose
spike /spaɪk/ n
Etymology: 14th Century: from Latin spīca ear of corn
- an inflorescence consisting of a raceme of sessile flowers, as in the gladiolus and sedges
- an ear of wheat, barley, or any other grass that has sessile spikelets
'spike' also found in these entries: