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spike (one's) guns

To ruin one's plans or prevent one's success. The phrase refers to the former military practice of inserting spikes into enemy guns to prevent them from firing. I'm afraid the rain has spiked our guns. We cannot hold the rally as planned.
See also: gun, spike

spike (one's) drink

To mix alcohol or drugs into someone's drink without their awareness or permission. After several students began vomiting on the dance floor, it was discovered that someone had spiked their drinks. If you're at a bar or club on your own, you need to be wary of someone spiking your drink.
See also: drink, spike


Of a liquid, having had something, such as alcohol or some other drug, secretly or illicitly added to it. They didn't even realize they were serving spiked punch until everyone at the party started feeling woozy. The police tested to see if her drink was spiked.
See also: spike

spike someone's guns

If you spike someone's guns, you do something to prevent someone's plans from succeeding. Parkers spiked their rival's guns by launching their product two months before Jones were able to do so. Note: In the past, when soldiers captured a large enemy gun which they could not move, they hammered a nail or spike into the hole where the gunpowder was put. This meant that the gunpowder could not be lit and so the gun would not work.
See also: gun, spike

spike someone's guns

take steps to thwart someone's intended course of action.
First recorded in English in the late 17th century, the expression referred literally to the practice of hammering a metal spike into a captured enemy cannon so that it could not be fired.
See also: gun, spike

spike somebody’s ˈdrink

add (more) alcohol or drugs to somebody’s drink, without their knowledge: ...I discovered later that they’d spiked my drink. That’s why I was so ill!
See also: drink, spike

spike somebody’s ˈguns

(British English) spoil somebody’s plans because you do not want them to succeed: She was jealous of David’s progress in the company, so she spiked his guns by telling the boss that David had a drinking problem.This refers to pushing a metal spike (= a thin object with a sharp point) into the enemy’s gun or cannon so that it cannot be fired.
See also: gun, spike


1. n. a hypodermic needle; a hypodermic syringe and needle; a medicine dropper and a needle. (Drugs.) The addict caught some strange disease from a dirty spike.
2. tv. to add ether or alcohol to beer, originally by injecting it through the cork with a hypodermic needle; to add alcohol to a nonalcoholic drink. (see also spiked.) He spiked the beer with ether, which is a dangerous thing to do.
3. tv. to puncture an idea. I explained the plan, but the boss spiked it immediately.


1. mod. having to do with a drink with alcohol added; having to do with a punch with an alcoholic content. Is the punch spiked? I want some without.
2. mod. alcohol or drug intoxicated. I knew that Mrs. Wilmington-Thorpe was spiked when she belched like a real country thunder-boomer.
3. mod. having to do with hair that stands up straight. His spiked hair wouldn’t look so bad if it wasn’t orange.
See also: spike
References in periodicals archive ?
ictal activity may severely deplete critical neurotransmitters and deactivate critical neuroreceptors for generation and propagation of spike activity).
The effect of irrigation treatments on spike weight was significant at 1% level (Figure 16).
Grain Yield /Spike: Seven crosses gave significant positive heterosis where as six crosses had significant positive heterobeltiosis for grain yield per spike.
Since an SN P system produces a spike train, we will encode the output as follows: starting from an appropriate instant of time, at each computation step the system will emit a spike if and only if the two corresponding input bits (that were inserted into the system some time steps before) are equal.
Learning spike from i -th global input channel arrives on learning input of i -th neuron's.
Surge protectors are relatively inexpensive and offer excellent protection against catastrophic high-voltage spikes in Normal Mode.
The BBC may have baulked at Spike's subversive attentions, but The Goon Show still injected a much-needed comic energy into dreary post-war Britain and Carpenter is spot on when he suggests that The Goons were perhaps the best use that has ever been made of radio, a medium where, as Spike himself once put it 'the pictures are better because they happen on the other side of your eyes'.
The Ar spike systems will be used by the USGS to calibrate their mass spectrometric techniques and ultimately measure the Ar concentration in a new preparation of their monitor mineral MMhb-2, which is a reference standard used for calibration and inter-laboratory comparisons.
Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee Illustrated by Kadir Nelson Simon & Schuster, November 2002 $16.
made Javelin fire-and-forget anti-tank weapon against the shoulder-fired Spike missile, made by Rafael Armament Development Authority Ltd.
We are gathered on this page to celebrate the life of the late Terence Alexander Milligan, KBE - all right then, Spike Milligan - who kept the British public simultaneously baffled and amused for 50 or more years from the Goon Show to Badjelly the Witch until his death earlier this year.
Previous designations for Golden Spike were UT1944158 and UT944158.