1. A kind of ring, or bent piece of metal, wood, leather, or the like, horizontal in one part for receiving the foot of a rider, and attached by a strap to the saddle, used to assist a person in mounting a horse, and to enable him to sit steadily in riding, as well as to relieve him by supporting a part of the weight of the body. "Our host upon his stirpoes stood anon." (Chaucer)

2. <machinery> Any piece resembling in shape the stirrup of a saddle, and used as a support, clamp, etc. See Bridle iron.

3. A rope secured to a yard, with a thimble in its lower end for supporting a footrope.

<anatomy> Stirrup bone, the stapes. Stirrup cup, a parting cup taken after mounting. Stirrup iron, an iron stirrup. Stirrup leather, or Stirrup strap, the strap which attaches a stirrup to the saddle. See Stirrup.

Origin: OE. Stirop, AS. Stigrap; stigan to mount, ascend + rap a rope; akin to G. Stegreif a stirrup. 164. See Sty, and Rope.

(01 Mar 1998)