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[stur-uh p, stir-, stuhr-] /ˈstɜr əp, ˈstɪr-, ˈstʌr-/
a loop, ring, or other contrivance of metal, wood, leather, etc., suspended from the saddle of a horse to support the rider's foot.
any of various similar supports or clamps used for special purposes.
Nautical. a short rope with an eye at the end hung from a yard to support a footrope, the footrope being rove through the eye.
Also called binder. (in reinforced-concrete constructions) a U -shaped or W -shaped bent rod for supporting longitudinal reinforcing rods.
Anatomy, stapes.
  1. a strap of fabric or elastic at the bottom of a pair of pants, worn around and under the foot.
  2. stirrups, (used with a plural verb) close-fitting knit pants with such straps.
Origin of stirrup
before 1000; Middle English; Old English stigrāp (stige ascent + rāp rope); cognate with German Stegreif
Related forms
stirrupless, adjective
stirruplike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for stirrup
Historical Examples
  • They ride silently like shadows, with no clatter of stirrup or chink of bit.

  • She cringed and fell to her knees, screaming and seizing his stirrup.

    Lorraine Robert W. Chambers
  • With one foot in the stirrup, Dave turned savagely: "Why don't you go up in the Gap with me now an' fight it out like a man?"

  • He then grasped the pole tightly in his arms, and placed his feet firmly in the stirrup.

    The Plant Hunters Mayne Reid
  • Instantly every left foot is in stirrup; but before they can swing into the saddle a joyous cry is in their ears, and pop!

    Bonaventure George Washington Cable
  • Malicorne hastened to hold the stirrup for him, but the king was already in the saddle.

    Louise de la Valliere Alexandre Dumas, Pere
  • I was dragged thus over a quarter of a mile, and would undoubtedly have been killed had not one and then the other stirrup broken.

    Fifteen Years in Hell Luther Benson
  • And then he was at her stirrup, smiling up at her broadly and cordially.

    'Firebrand' Trevison Charles Alden Seltzer
  • The seaman had followed the departing Lionel to the door of the little inn and stood by his stirrup after he had got to horse.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • While doing this, she should be careful not to put any weight on the stirrup.

    The Horsewoman Alice M. Hayes
British Dictionary definitions for stirrup


Also called stirrup iron. either of two metal loops on a riding saddle, with a flat footpiece through which a rider puts his foot for support. They are attached to the saddle by stirrup leathers
a U-shaped support or clamp made of metal, wood, leather, etc
(nautical) one of a set of ropes fastened to a yard at one end and having a thimble at the other through which a footrope is rove for support
the usual US name for étrier
Word Origin
Old English stigrāp, from stīg path, step (related to Old High German stīgan to move up) + rāprope; related to Old Norse stigreip, Old High German stegareif
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for stirrup

Old English stigrap, literally "climbing rope," from stige "a climbing, ascent" (from Proto-Germanic *stigaz "climbing;" see stair) + rap (see rope). Originally a looped rope as a help for mounting. Germanic cognates include Old Norse stigreip, Old High German stegareif, German stegreif. Surgical device used in childbirth, etc., so called from 1884. Stirrup-cup (1680s) was a cup of wine or other drink handed to a man already on horseback and setting out on a journey, hence "a parting glass" (cf. French le vin de l'etrier).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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stirrup in Medicine

stirrup stir·rup (stûr'əp, stĭr'-)
See stapes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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