Definition of spoor in English:


Pronunciation: /spʊə//spɔː/


  • 1The track or scent of an animal.

    ‘they searched around the hut for a spoor’
    [mass noun] ‘the trail is marked by wolf 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.’
    • ‘On the windowsill, the pigeon is gone, but it has left its spoor.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He located the fox's spoor and loped along in pursuit.’
    • ‘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.’
    spoor, trail, track
    View synonyms
    1. 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The three bulls, according to the natives, had been spoored into the dense patch of bush above the kloof.’
    • ‘Game is spoored, stalked and watched under supervision of experienced guides.’


Early 19th century: from Afrikaans, from Middle Dutch spor, of Germanic origin.