There are 2 main definitions of spike in English:

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spike1

Syllabification: spike
Pronunciation: /spīk
 
/

noun

1A thin, pointed piece of metal, wood, or another rigid material.
Example sentences
  • The spikes dug into the thin material of the bags, and dirt began to leak out.
  • In one case at Wakefield, a youth dangled a piece of concrete with spikes in it from a bridge.
  • Splinters and jagged spikes of wood lanced into the air, and a faint coat of dust had comfortably settled over the wreckage.
Synonyms
skewer, stake, spit;
tine, pin;
spur;
Mountaineering piton
thorn, spine, prickle, bristle;
Zoology spicule
1.1A large stout nail, especially one used to fasten a rail to a railroad tie.
Example sentences
  • A chain is draped around the rim, and inside the container is a skull, a knife, railway spikes, and a lungoa.
  • He crawled over, among the power tools and nails and spikes and dangerous edges, and slid the bolt across.
  • An increasingly effective Union blockade reduced the availability of ships' machinery and even such items as nails and spikes.
1.2Each of several metal points set into the sole of an athletic shoe to prevent slipping.
Example sentences
  • Athletes must have running shorts, spikes are not allowed in running shoes and of course bring suitable gear for the weather.
1.3 (spikes) A pair of athletic shoes with metal points set into the sole.
Example sentences
  • He points to a pair of spikes on the computer graphic.
  • To compensate 16-year-old Lewis for the injuries he sustained, Puma UK have offered him a free pair of Olympic spikes which are not yet available in the shops.
  • He had spoken of being inspired by Sheffield's John and Sheila Sherwood winning medals in the Mexico Olympics, of joining their club and of being given his first pair of spikes by Sheila.
1.4 short for spike heel.
1.5 informal A hypodermic needle.
Example sentences
  • Frontline crews working for Essex ambulance service are to be issued with body armour to protect them from hand guns, knives and spikes including hypodermic needles and even stiletto heels.
2A sharp increase in the magnitude or concentration of something: the oil price spike
More example sentences
  • I think you're seeing something akin to what we saw in the 1970s when we had a similar kind of sharp spike in oil prices.
  • The recent spike in oil prices seems to have ended as increased production has boosted supplies.
  • A spike in oil prices would have a devastating effect.
2.1 Electronics A pulse of very short duration in which a rapid increase in voltage is followed by a rapid decrease.
Example sentences
  • If one were to have a voltage spike, the consequences could be disastrous.
  • Voltage surges and spikes occur for a number of reasons.
  • Sometimes, a mere shut down of power or an electrical surge that emits a strong voltage spike can even destroy highly sophisticated RAID storage systems.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Impale on or pierce with a sharp point: she spiked another oyster
More example sentences
  • I'm sometimes asked if I'd be frightened of walking through a jungle and being spiked by a thorn.
  • We do not have to spike the trees, carry protest signs, or write angry letters to our representatives.
  • Make a note of such spots and on a dry day go out with a garden fork and spike the areas by pushing into the lawn to a depth of about 15 cm and rocking gently back and forth before pulling out the fork.
Synonyms
1.1 Baseball Injure (a player) with the spikes on one’s shoes.
1.2(Of a newspaper editor) reject (a story) by or as if by filing it on a spike: the editors deemed the article in bad taste and spiked it
More example sentences
  • A leaked internal document shows that this is not the first time that Myers has had articles spiked by the editor.
  • And they spiked the story by their top investigative reporter, so they didn't get sued because they simply killed the story before birth.
  • Newsweek spiked the story a few years ago when they had it.
1.3Stop the progress of (a plan or undertaking); put an end to: he doubted they would spike the entire effort over this one negotiation
More example sentences
  • Amid reports that the Department of Justice may spike the proposed merger, it is set to name two veterans to head its marketing forces.
  • in June Blair reportedly spiked the idea of introducing ID cards - but they're back.
1.4 historical Render (a gun) useless by plugging up the vent with a spike.
2Form into or cover with sharp points: his hair was matted and spiked with blood
More example sentences
  • He'd spiked his hair, probably according to his own taste.
  • The walls of the forecourt are spiked with broken glass.
  • ‘Yeah, I'll be fine,’ I said spiking my dark thick hair up like normal.
2.1 [no object] Take on a sharp, pointed shape: lightning spiked across the sky
More example sentences
  • ‘Edge,’ he said softly as lightning spiked out of the sky and the thunder followed angrily after.
  • With a thin hilt and a curved bend, three sharp prongs spiked out nastily and gleamed in the room's bright light.
  • The country is mostly flat and quietly beautiful, spiked with royal palms.
2.2 [no object] Increase and then decrease sharply; reach a peak: oil prices would spike and fall again
More example sentences
  • Well, oil prices spiked to a record high today as Hurricane Dennis approaches.
  • If oil prices spike upwards and inflation rises, interest rates will go up too.
  • Most people think about energy only when gas prices spike or when heating oil is in short supply.
3 informal Add alcohol or a drug to contaminate (drink or food) surreptitiously: she bought me an orange juice and spiked it with vodka
More example sentences
  • Date rape drugs are used to spike victims' drinks, causing memory loss so they are vulnerable to sex attacks.
  • Alcohol is still the most common substance used to spike drinks, but spiking with drugs is on the increase.
  • Or rather, if he was going to do it, I believe he'd have just spiked his own food or drink.
Synonyms
adulterate, contaminate, drug, lace
informal dope, doctor, cut
3.1Add sharp or pungent flavoring to (food or drink): spike the liquid with lime or lemon juice
More example sentences
  • Olive oil spiked with fresh chilli sits on the counter.
4(In volleyball) hit (the ball) forcefully from a position near the net so that it moves downward into the opposite court.
Example sentences
  • Despite this being a busy week in games and practices, fans were still out to see the volleyball women doing their stuff as they spiked the ball in for the win.
  • In sports, the front raise is an integral part of throwing a softball, pulling upward while doing the back-stroke or spiking a volleyball.
  • Whether or not you can spike a mean volleyball, there is a lot to be said for being tall.
4.1 Football Fling (the ball) forcefully to the ground, typically in celebration of a touchdown.
Example sentences
  • Jordan then spiked a ball which bounced off the ground and hit Collier, so he stopped.
  • As he crosses the plane of the goal line, Harper plants his right foot, spins 27 degrees, and spikes the ball into the face of line judge Mike Durner.

Origin

Middle English: perhaps from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch spiker, related to spoke1. The verb dates from the early 17th century.

Definition of spike in:

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There are 2 main definitions of spike in English:

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spike2

Syllabification: spike
Pronunciation: /spīk
 
/

noun

Botany
A flower cluster formed of many flower heads attached directly to a long stem. Compare with cyme, raceme.
Example sentences
  • This lovely evergreen sports dense foliage bearing spikes of dark red flower buds during late autumn.
  • If Cymbidium Orchids are congested with back bulbs, remove old flower spikes and divide and re-pot in good quality Cymbidium mix.
  • The flower spikes elongate up to a foot or more over a period of weeks.

Origin

late Middle English (denoting an ear of corn): from Latin spica (see spica).

Definition of spike in:

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