spike

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spike1 / spīk/ • n. 1. a thin, pointed piece of metal, wood, or another rigid material. ∎  a large stout nail, esp. one used to fasten a rail to a railroad tie. ∎  each of several metal points set into the sole of an athletic shoe to prevent slipping. ∎  (spikes) a pair of athletic shoes with such metal points. ∎ short for spike heel. ∎ inf. a hypodermic needle. 2. a sharp increase in the magnitude or concentration of something: the oil price spike. ∎  Electr. a pulse of very short duration in which a rapid increase in voltage is followed by a rapid decrease. • v. [tr.] 1. impale on or pierce with a sharp point: she spiked another oyster. ∎  Baseball injure (a player) with the spikes on one's shoes. ∎  (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. ∎  stop the progress of (a plan or undertaking); put an end to: he doubted they would spike the entire effort over this one negotiation. ∎  hist. render (a gun) useless by plugging up the vent with a spike. 2. form into or cover with sharp points: his hair was matted and spiked with blood. ∎  [intr.] take on a sharp, pointed shape: lightning spiked across the sky. ∎  [intr.] increase and then decrease sharply; reach a peak: oil prices would spike and fall again. 3. inf. add alcohol or a drug to contaminate (drink or food) surreptitiously: she bought me an orange juice and spiked it with vodka. ∎  add sharp or pungent flavoring to (food or drink): spike the liquid with lime or lemon juice. ∎  enrich (a nuclear reactor or its fuel) with a particular isotope. 4. (in volleyball) hit (the ball) forcefully from a position near the net so that it moves downward into the opposite court. ∎  Football fling (the ball) forcefully to the ground, typically in celebration of a touchdown. spike2 • n. Bot. a flower cluster formed of many flowerheads attached directly to a long stem. Compare with cyme, raceme.

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spikealike, bike, dyke, haik, hike, kike, like, mic, mike, mislike, pike, psych, psyche, shrike, spike, strike, trike, tyke, Van Dyck, vandyke •pushbike • motorbike • Klondike •Thorndike • Updike • hitchhike •crablike • lamblike •fanlike, manlike, panlike •trap-like • catlike • starlike • calf-like •glass-like, grass-like •branch-like • plant-like • thread-like •gem-like • deathlike • waiflike •vein-like • wraithlike • fiendlike •leaf-like • dreamlike • queen-like •sheeplike • witchlike • sylphlike •piglike •springlike, string-like, wing-like •lip-like • princelike • ladylike •businesslike • lifelike • childlike •Christlike, vice-like •knob-like •godlike, rod-like •doglike • rock-like • swanlike •foxlike • warlike • lord-like •horselike • globe-like •dome-like, homelike •ghostlike • rose-like • toylike •root-like • tooth-like • hood-like •wolf-like • hook-like •wool-like • suchlike • sponge-like •nunlike, sunlike •dovelike • lion-like • flower-like •soundalike • lookalike •statesmanlike • seamanlike •sportsmanlike • womanlike •workmanlike • fatherlike • worm-like •handspike • garpike • marlinspike •turnpike

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spike A solution (liquid or gaseous) containing a known concentration of a particular element whose isotopic concentration has been changed by the enrichment of one of its naturally occurring isotopes. The spike is used in isotope dilution analysis, being mixed in known proportions with the sample solution, prior to isotopic determination by means of a mass spectrometer (see MASS SPECTROMETRY).

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spike A type of racemose inflorescence in which stalkless flowers arise from an undivided floral axis, as in plantain and Orchis. In the family Gramineae (Poaceae; sedges and grasses) the flowers are grouped in clusters called spikelets (see illustration), which may be arranged to form a compound spike (as in wheat). See glume; lemma.

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spike1 sharp-pointed piece of metal, large nail. XIII. ME. spyk (also spiknail). of uncert. orig. (perh. — (M)LG., MDu. spīker (Du. spijker)); rel. to SPOKE.
Hence spike vb. XVII.

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spike. See flèche; pricket; spire.

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spike A raceme in which the flowers are all sessile.

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spike2
A. ear of corn XIV (rare before XVII); inflorescence of sessile flowers on a long axis XVI;

B. lavender XVI. — L. spīca, -us, -um
.