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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
  • stirrup and duct ties are to be provided if required for containment of tendons.
  • Electrically connect all stirrup bars, strands, all longitudinal bars and structural continuity bars at the bridge site.
  • The hammer and the stirrup are common names for two out of the three small bones in our inner ears.
  • It all came back to him with a rush when he found himself alone with these heroes of the rope and the stirrup.
  • And with those words he had thought to have leapt again upon his horse, but he failed of the stirrup and the horse started away.
  • Trends go out of style faster than you can say shoulder pads and stirrup pants.
  • Keep only the ball of your foot in the stirrup with your heels down and toes up.
  • Heel contact pushes the stirrup upward to engage the pushrod and drive the cam into the friction ring.
  • Secure stirrups to walls with two suitable anchoring devices for each stirrup.
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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