spur

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spur-of-the-moment

Occurring very suddenly, impulsively, and/or without preparation beforehand; impromptu or capricious. You've got to stop making these spur-of-the-moment decisions about your business, or you'll end up running it into the ground! It's totally out of my character to take a spur-of-the-moment trip like this, but I just needed to get out of the city for a while.

hang up (one's) spurs

To stop doing something; to retire from something. I've been at the company for 30 years, so it's time for me to hang up my spurs. You're an adult now, and you can't stay out all weekend—it's time to hang up your spurs and ditch the party scene.
See also: hang, spur, up

earn one's spurs

Fig. to prove oneself. After that rodeo, all the cowboys agreed that Sally had earned her spurs. He felt that he had earned his spurs when he received his Ph.D.
See also: earn, spur

on the spur of the moment

Fig. suddenly; spontaneously. We decided to go on the spur of the moment. I had to leave town on the spur of the moment.
See also: moment, of, on, spur

spur someone on

to urge someone onward; to egg someone on. (Fig. on applying spurs to a horse.) The crowd spurred the runners on throughout the race. The cheering spurred on the runners.
See also: on, spur

on the spur of the moment

without any planning I found her old telephone number and called her on the spur of the moment.
Related vocabulary: at a moment's notice
See also: moment, of, on, spur

spur somebody/something on

also spur on somebody/something
to encourage someone or something I yelled at the dog to drop my hat, but that seemed to spur him on to chew it up. Having more women in government may spur on other women with an interest in entering politics.
See also: on, spur

on the spur of the moment

if you do something on the spur of the moment, you do it suddenly, without planning it It was something I bought on the spur of the moment, and I've regretted it ever since.
See also: moment, of, on, spur

earn/win your spurs

to do something to show that you deserve a particular position and have the skills needed for it He won his political spurs fighting hospital closures during his time as a local councillor in Bristol.
See also: earn, spur

on the spur of the moment

Impulsively, without prior preparation, as in He decided to join a tour to England on the spur of the moment. This expression alludes to the goading action of a spur to a horse. [Late 1700s]
See also: moment, of, on, spur

spur on

Goad or urge ahead, as in The thought of winning a Pulitzer Prize spurred the reporter on. This expression transfers using spurs to make a horse go faster to incentives of other kinds. [Late 1500s]
See also: on, spur

win one's spurs

Gain a position or attain distinction through hard work or some special accomplishment. For example, After two years of freelancing, she won her spurs as a programmer and was hired for the top job . This expression originally alluded to being knighted for some act of bravery and was being used figuratively by the mid-1500s.
See also: spur, win

spur on

v.
1. To urge some horse onward by the use of spurs: The knight spurred the horse on across the shallow river. I spurred on the horse as fast as it could go.
2. To stimulate or encourage someone or something: Low gas prices spurred on the booming economy. We never could have finished the project if our boss hadn't spurred us on.
See also: on, spur
References in classic literature ?
So saying, he spurred his horse upon Little John, and rising in his stirrups smote with might and main, but Little John ducked quickly underneath the horse's belly and the blow whistled harmlessly over his head.
bellowed the Sheriff in a voice like an angry bull; and he spurred his horse upon the two who now stood back to back, forgetting in his rage that he had no weapon with which to defend himself.
The other members of the two bodies of royalist soldiers had sat spellbound as they watched the battle, but now, as their leader's corpse rolled from the saddle they spurred furiously in upon De Conde and his little party.
Nearly all of the Baron's men were down, when one, an old servitor, spurred to the side of Joan de Tany and Mary de Stutevill.
A fight betwixt spurred cock and new hatched chicken
then spurred through the underwood and was gone, with a gleam of steel shoes and flutter of dead leaves.
She spurred Washoe Ban in pursuit, but he could not hold his own with the mad mare, and dropped gradually behind.