Definition of spoor in US English:



  • The track or scent of an animal.

    ‘they searched around the hut for a spoor’
    ‘the trail is marked by wolf spoor’
    • ‘He located the fox's spoor and loped along in pursuit.’
    • ‘On the windowsill, the pigeon is gone, but it has left its spoor.’
    • ‘They followed cattle spoors for about seven kilometres and found 66 of the cattle scattered over a distance of 10 km.’
    • ‘The spoor was fresher, and the side trails of the leopard's continued presence in the area told them they were approaching her lair.’
    • ‘He found the spoor easily enough and followed it for about a minute, but then it forked.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He said police then followed spoors into the Santa informal settlement and saw the cattle with an unidentified man.’
    trail, track
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[with object]
  • Follow the track or scent of (an animal or person)

    ‘taking the spear, he set off to spoor the man’
    • ‘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.’
    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 down
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Early 19th century: from Afrikaans, from Middle Dutch spor, of Germanic origin.