Is there a word for spear-like? I don't mean for the components of the spear or the act of spearing, but the noun.

I want something that can be used in the following context: Her insults were spear-like, rapid, straightforward, penetrating, and designed for maximum damage.

  • 1
    Can you provide some context? – Doug Dawson Oct 19 '16 at 22:01
  • Her insults were spear-like, rapid, straightforward, penetrating, and designed for maximum damage. – K Dog Oct 19 '16 at 22:03
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    Her insults were like spears, rapid, etc. No need to say spear like. Like spears is better. Unless you say: were spear-like, sharp and pointed. – Lambie Oct 19 '16 at 23:35
  • Noun? It sounds like you're looking for an adjective. – aparente001 Oct 20 '16 at 3:45
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    I'd put a colon rather than a comma after “like spears”. – Anton Sherwood Oct 20 '16 at 7:09

Given your context (spear-like insults), there are a number of words that you can use:

  • a sharp insult
  • a cutting insult
  • a pointed insult

You could also flip things around and use a verb:

Her insults ______ my pride.

As a verb, you might use:

  • cut
  • shredded
  • stabbed

However, my suggestion would be to use a single word:


  • a sharp projection extending backward (as from the point of an arrow or fishhook) and preventing easy extraction; also : a sharp projection with its point similarly oblique to something else
  • a biting or pointedly critical remark or comment

You could also call it a barbed insult.

  • 1
    This answer seems most apt given the context. This is because you are not looking to say your subject (insult) is like a spear, you are trying to say your subject is like the attack from a spear. – ShaneB Oct 20 '16 at 4:55
  • I would add piercing such as a piercing remark. – NibblyPig Oct 20 '16 at 7:20
  • @SLC, why don't you add piercing as a formal answer? I think it's a good fit (though I still think sharp is the best fit). – alwayslearning Oct 20 '16 at 10:40
  • @alwayslearning I thought it was just another synonym to go with the list, not good enough for it's own answer :) – NibblyPig Oct 20 '16 at 10:58

There are words largely confined to the botanical register for the shape:

Lance-shaped, lanceolate ... : Long, wider in the middle

hastate: shaped like a spear point, with flaring pointed lobes at the base

[New World Encyclopedia]

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    Although these are terrible words used in the provided context. I would have no idea what either words would have meant. – Nelson Oct 20 '16 at 3:22
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    @Nelson The context wasn't there when I gave this answer. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 20 '16 at 8:20
  • @EdwinAshworth Fair enough. I knew that looking at the edits :) – Nelson Oct 20 '16 at 8:20
  • 'Although these are terrible words used in the provided context.' should be 'Although these are terrible words when used in the context provided (regrettably, later).' The question changed almost beyond recognition. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 20 '16 at 10:38

Some other terms that fit the context of insults that bring in some aspects of spears are:

-Piercing -Incisive

An additional word that fits well in your sentence: -Biting

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