One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The track or scent of an animal.‘they searched around the hut for a spoor’mass noun ‘the trail is marked by wolf spoor’
trail, trackView synonyms
- ‘He located the fox's spoor and loped along in pursuit.’
- ‘He found the spoor easily enough and followed it for about a minute, but then it forked.’
- ‘They followed cattle spoors for about seven kilometres and found 66 of the cattle scattered over a distance of 10 km.’
- ‘The gasping clouds of my breath mingled with the fog as I followed the spoor, pushing through denuded branches and the winter skeletons of undergrowth.’
- ‘As it was vanishing on the hill-tops, a group of enthusiasts preferred to forgo arguing and, grasping their spears, were soon busy tracking its spoor on the soft soil in the crevices among the boulders.’
- ‘On the windowsill, the pigeon is gone, but it has left its spoor.’
- ‘He said police then followed spoors into the Santa informal settlement and saw the cattle with an unidentified man.’
- ‘The spoor was fresher, and the side trails of the leopard's continued presence in the area told them they were approaching her lair.’
- 1.1South African The track of a wagon or motor vehicle.
Follow the track or scent of (an animal or person)‘taking the spear, he set off to spoor the man’
follow, pursue, track, trace, shadow, stalk, dog, hound, spoor, hunt, hunt down, course, keep an eye on, keep in sight, run to earth, run to ground, run downView synonyms
- ‘Game is spoored, stalked and watched under supervision of experienced guides.’
- ‘The three bulls, according to the natives, had been spoored into the dense patch of bush above the kloof.’
- ‘But those who have spoored him across the country on his speaking engagements say he is a deeply moralistic man who feels strongly about principles and public conduct.’
Early 19th century: from Afrikaans, from Middle Dutch spor, of Germanic origin.
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