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  1. spike
  2. noun

    • 1. a thin, pointed piece of metal, wood, or another rigid material.

    • 2. a large stout nail, especially one used to fasten a rail to a railway sleeper.

    • 3. each of several metal points set into the sole of a running shoe to prevent slipping.

    • 4. a pair of running shoes with metal points set into the sole.

    • 5. a pointed metal rod standing on a base and used for filing paper items such as bills, or journalistic material considered for publication and rejected.

    • 6. a hypodermic needle.

    • 7. a sharp increase in the magnitude or concentration of something:

      the oil price spike
    • 8. a pulse of very short duration in which a rapid increase in voltage is followed by a rapid decrease.

    • 9. a hostel ward offering temporary accommodation for the homeless:

      he queued at the soup kitchen or the spike


    • 1. impale on or pierce with a sharp point:

      she spiked another oyster
    • 2. injure (a player) with the spikes on one's shoes.

    • 3. (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
    • 4. stop the progress of (a plan or undertaking); put an end to:

      he doubted they would spike the entire effort over this one negotiation
      Synonym : put a stop to, put an end to, put the lid on, scupper, scotch, derail, frustrate, foil, thwart, stymie, balk, hinder, obstruct, put paid to, put the kibosh on, clobber, dish
    • 5. render (a gun) useless by plugging up the vent with a spike.

    • 6. form into or cover with sharp points:

      his hair was matted and spiked with blood
    • 7. take on a sharp, pointed shape:

      lightning spiked across the sky
    • 8. increase and then decrease sharply; reach a peak:

      oil prices would spike and fall again
    • 9. add alcohol or a drug to contaminate (drink or food) surreptitiously:

      she bought me an orange juice and spiked it with vodka
      Synonym : adulterate, contaminate, drug, lace, slip a Mickey Finn into, dope, doctor, cut
    • 10. add sharp or pungent flavouring to (food or drink):

      spike the liquid with lime or lemon juice
    • 11. enrich (a nuclear reactor or its fuel) with a particular isotope:

      the plutonium mixture could be spiked with caesium-137
    • 12. (in volleyball) hit (the ball) forcefully from a position near the net so that it moves downward into the opposite court.

    • 13. fling (the ball) forcefully to the ground, typically in celebration of a touchdown or victory.

  3. Variation

    • n.: noun: spike, plural noun: spikes

    • v.: verb: spike, 3rd person present: spikes, gerund or present participle: spiking, past tense: spiked, past participle: spiked