An apparatus fastened to the heel of a horseman, for goading the horse. In the days of chivalry, the use of the spur was limited to knights, and it was among the emblems of knighthood. A young man who won his spurs earned knighthood by gallant conduct. The degradation of a knight involved the hacking off of his spurs. By serving before a knight a pair of spurs on a dish, a host was providing a strong hint that the knight had outstayed his welcome.
Related term(s): Chivalry; Knight; Destrier; Mounted; Squire; Page
Category: Knighthood and Chivalry
Source information: Wilhelm, Thomas. A Military Dictionary and Gazetteer. Philadelphia: L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1881. 549.