spike

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 [ˈspaɪk]



WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
spike1 /spaɪk/USA pronunciation   n., v.,  spiked, spik•ing. 
n. [countable]
  1. Building, Rail Transporta naillike fastener, 3 to 12 in. (7.6 to 30.5 cm) long, for fastening together heavy timbers.
  2. something resembling such a nail, as a piece of metal sticking out of the heel and sole of a shoe for improving gripping power.
  3. 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.
  4. a sudden increase or rise:a sharp spike in the unemployment statistics.

v. 
  1. Building to fasten or secure with a spike or spikes:[+ object]to spike the railroad ties.
  2. [+ object] to pierce with a spike.
  3. to prevent or suppress:[+ object]to spike a rumor before it starts to spread.
  4. Informal Terms[+ object]
    • to add alcoholic liquor to (a drink):Someone had spiked the punch with vodka.
  5. to rise or increase sharply:[no object;  sometimes: ~ + up]Interest rates have spiked (up).
spik•y, adj.,  -i•er, -i•est. 

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
spike1  (spīk),USA pronunciation n., v.,  spiked, spik•ing. 
n. 
  1. 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.
  2. something resembling such a nail;
    a stiff, sharp-pointed piece or part:to set spikes in the top of a cement wall.
  3. a sharp-pointed piece of metal set with the point outward, as on a weapon.
  4. an abrupt increase or rise:a chart showing a spike of unusual activity in the stock market; a sudden spike of electrical current.
  5. 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.
  6. Clothingspikes, a pair of shoes having such projections.
  7. Zoologythe unbranched antler of a young deer.
  8. Botanya flower stalk. See illus. under  inflorescence. 
  9. Statisticsa pointed portion of a continuous curve or graph, usually rising above the adjacent portion:a spike in the value of the voltage.
  10. Sport[Volleyball.]a hard smash, hit close to the net, almost straight down into the opponent's court.
  11. Slang Termsa hypodermic needle.

v.t. 
  1. Buildingto fasten or secure with a spike or spikes.
  2. to provide or set with a spike or spikes.
  3. to pierce with or impale on a spike.
  4. to set or stud with something suggesting spikes.
  5. Sportto injure (another player or a competitor) with the spikes of one's shoe, as in baseball.
  6. 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.
  7. Sport[Football.]to slam (the ball) to the ground in the end zone, after scoring a touchdown.
  8. Militaryto render (a muzzle-loading gun) useless by driving a spike into the touchhole.
  9. to make ineffective;
    frustrate or thwart:to spike a rumor; to spike someone's chances for promotion.
  10. Informal Terms
    • to add alcoholic liquor to (a drink).
    • to add (a chemical, poison, or other substance) to:The cocoa was spiked with cyanide.
  11. Journalismto refuse (a story) by or as if by placing on a spindle.

v.i. 
  1. to rise or increase sharply (often fol. by up):Interest rates spiked up last week.
  2. spike someone's guns. See  gun 1 (def. 10).
spikelike′, adj. 
  • Old Norse spīkr nail; akin to Old Norse spīk, Middle Low German spīker nail
  • Middle English spik(e) (noun, nominal) 1300–50

spike2 (spīk),USA pronunciation  n. 
  1. an ear, as of wheat or other grain.
  2. 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
  1. a sharp point
  2. any sharp-pointed object, esp one made of metal
  3. a long metal nail
  4. (plural) shoes with metal projections on the sole and heel for greater traction, as used by athletes
  5. Brit slang
    another word for dosshouse
vb (transitive)
  1. to secure or supply with or as with spikes
  2. to render ineffective or block the intentions of; thwart
  3. to impale on a spike
  4. to add alcohol to (a drink)
  5. to hit (a ball) sharply downwards with an overarm motion from the front of one's own court into the opposing court
  6. (formerly) to render (a cannon) ineffective by blocking its vent with a spike
  7. spike someone's gunsto thwart someone's purpose
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
spike /spaɪk/ n
  1. an inflorescence consisting of a raceme of sessile flowers, as in the gladiolus and sedges
  2. an ear of wheat, barley, or any other grass that has sessile spikelets
Etymology: 14th Century: from Latin spīca ear of corn



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