English edit

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Etymology edit

From Middle English spere-hed; equivalent to spear +‎ head.

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈspɪə.hɛd/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈspɪɹ.hɛd/, /ˈspiɹ.hɛd/
  • (file)
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Noun edit

spearhead (plural spearheads)

  1. The pointed head, or end, of a spear.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter II, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], →OCLC:
      Orion hit a rabbit once; but though sore wounded it got to the bury, and, struggling in, the arrow caught the side of the hole and was drawn out. []. Ikey the blacksmith had forged us a spearhead after a sketch from a picture of a Greek warrior; and a rake-handle served as a shaft.
  2. One who leads or initiates an activity (such as an attack or a campaign).
    • 1964 September, G. Freeman Allen, “Interim report on the East Coast Route express service”, in Modern Railways, pages 158–159:
      Spearheads of the NER bargain fares attack this year have been the introduction of weekend fares at a 7s 6d in the £ discount on ordinary rates between principal stations throughout the Region—[...].
  3. The leading military unit in an attack.
  4. (sports) A player who initiates attacking moves.

Translations edit

Verb edit

spearhead (third-person singular simple present spearheads, present participle spearheading, simple past and past participle spearheaded)

  1. (transitive) To drive or campaign ardently for, as an effort, project, etc.
    He spearheaded the entire project from day one.
    • 2012 April 21, Jonathan Jurejko, “Newcastle 3-0 Stoke”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Newcastle have put themselves within touching distance after a fantastic run which has been spearheaded by the goals of Senegal striker Cisse.
    • 2021 January 13, Dr Joseph Brennan, “Spectacular funiculars”, in RAIL, issue 922, page 53:
      George Monks spearheaded the project to solve this problem with a funicular, and work on the Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway (L&LCR) began in 1887.

Translations edit