Spearhead – Usage & Definition

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

In any conversation, there’s always a leader, the one who stands at the front and guides others. In English, we usually refer to a person as the one who spearheads an initiative or project. But why is it called spearhead? Let’s jump in and learn the meaning and usage of this dynamic word, shall we?

What Does Spearheaded Mean?

Spearhead Usage Definition

As a noun, the term spearhead mostly describes the pointed head or tip of an aboriginal spearhead. But as a verb, spearhead means to lead or initiate an endeavor or project. A person or group that spearheads takes the initiative in promoting or undertaking something. So, basically, to spearhead means to lead.

Origin and Etymology of Spearhead

As you might have already guessed, spearhead comes from the combination of spear and head, which refers to the sharp tip of a spear and also signifies leadership or the point of a formation. The figurative use of spearhead, meaning to lead or initiate an activity, began in the late 19th century.

What Is the Plural of Spearhead?

The plural of spearhead, when you’re referring to the literal object, aka the noun version, is spearheads. But as a verb, spearhead doesn’t have a plural form, similar to other verbs.

What Is the Past Tense of Spearhead?

The past tense version of spearhead is spearheaded.

  • My best friend spearheaded the fundraising campaign we did last year.

Synonyms for Spearhead

Here are some other ways to say spearhead to diversify your vocabulary. Synonyms are a great way to make things more interesting or to break up monotony in your writing.

  • Lead
  • Head
  • Front
  • Pioneer
  • Initiate
  • Guide
  • Direct

Spearhead Examples in a Sentence

Spearhead Usage Definition 1

When a term can be both a noun and a verb, I find it really helpful to see it in use in a full sentence to get an idea of how to properly work it into a conversation.

  • Janet spearheads the marketing team at our office, always introducing innovative strategies.
  • They spearheaded the campaign for climate change awareness, and now it’s become a huge movement.
  • Dane will spearhead the new initiative on renewable energy for the province.
  • Our community has spearheaded several successful local events using 100% volunteer-run groups to pull them off.
  • My best friend and I host workshops and discussion panels about writing, but I always let her spearhead things because she’s such a great public speaker.
  • The local hospital is planning to spearhead a drive for food donations next month, so I volunteered to help out.
  • There’s always one author who spearheads a genre, and all others follow suit behind them.

The Wrap Up

So, whether you’re spearheading a project, a movement or just an idea, the term imbues a sense of leadership and direction. It reminds us that there’s always someone at the front, pointing the way. Isn’t language fascinating? Now, remember not to get the verb spearheads and noun versions mixed up!