1. The sharpened head of a spear.
a. The leading forces in a military thrust.
b. The driving force in a given action, endeavor, or movement.
tr.v. spear·head·ed, spear·head·ing, spear·heads
To be the leader of (a movement, for example).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.