Pronunciation: (spīk), [key]
n., v., spiked, spik•ing.

1. a naillike fastener, 3 to 12 in. (7.6 to 30.5 cm) long and proportionately thicker than a common nail, for fastening together heavy timbers or railroad track.
2. something resembling such a nail; a stiff, sharp-pointed piece or part: to set spikes in the top of a cement wall.
3. a sharp-pointed piece of metal set with the point outward, as on a weapon.
4. an abrupt increase or rise: a chart showing a spike of unusual activity in the stock market; a sudden spike of electrical current.
5. a rectangular or naillike metal projection on the heel and sole of a shoe for improving traction, as of a baseball player or a runner.
6. spikes,a pair of shoes having such projections.
7. the unbranched antler of a young deer.
8. Bot.a flower stalk. See illus. under inflorescence.
9. a pointed portion of a continuous curve or graph, usually rising above the adjacent portion: a spike in the value of the voltage.
10. Volleyball.a hard smash, hit close to the net, almost straight down into the opponent's court.
11. Slang.a hypodermic needle.

1. to fasten or secure with a spike or spikes.
2. to provide or set with a spike or spikes.
3. to pierce with or impale on a spike.
4. to set or stud with something suggesting spikes.
5. to injure (another player or a competitor) with the spikes of one's shoe, as in baseball.
6. hit (a ball in the air) with a powerful, overarm motion from a position close to the net so as to cause it to travel almost straight down into the court of the opponents.
7. slam (the ball) to the ground in the end zone, after scoring a touchdown.
8. to render (a muzzle-loading gun) useless by driving a spike into the touchhole.
9. to make ineffective; frustrate or thwart: to spike a rumor; to spike someone's chances for promotion.
10. Informal.
a. to add alcoholic liquor to (a drink).
b. to add (a chemical, poison, or other substance) to: The cocoa was spiked with cyanide.
11. Journalism refuse (a story) by or as if by placing on a spindle.

1. to rise or increase sharply (often fol. by up): Interest rates spiked up last week.
2. spike someone's guns. See gun 1 (def. 10).


Pronunciation: (spīk), [key]
1. an ear, as of wheat or other grain.
2. inflorescence in which the flowers are without a stalk, or apparently so, along an elongated, unbranched axis. See illus. under inflorescence.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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