- a stick with a pointed or electrically charged end, for driving cattle, oxen, etc.; prod.
- anything that pricks or wounds like such a stick.
- something that encourages, urges, or drives; a stimulus.
- to prick or drive with, or as if with, a goad; prod; incite.
Origin of goad
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for goad
Maybe the public display of pro-Gaddafi sentiments acts as a goad for the killings.Libya Is Still Riven by Violence as Loyalists and Rebels Alike Keep Killing
July 12, 2012
Social and cultural insecurity has also served as a goad to Mormon productivity and achievement.Mormons Rock!
June 5, 2011
He knew how to improvise, how to lead a fellow actor into a state of mind, how to goad them into their best performances.John Cazale, A Godfather of Acting
May 31, 2010
The contempt he did not trouble to dissemble served but to goad them on.Scaramouche
Nothing could have been better calculated to goad him to extremity.The Twins of Suffering Creek
It was like a goad to the painted, shiny-eyed harridan on the sofa.Under Western Eyes
But the spur, though it pricked, did not goad him into any action.The Doctor's Family
Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant
Time rules in those glades, Time with his whip and goad, and there is no peace.The Soul of a People
- a sharp pointed stick for urging on cattle, etc
- anything that acts as a spur or incitement
- (tr) to drive with or as if with a goad; spur; incite
Word Origin and History for goad
Old English gad "point, spearhead, arrowhead," from Proto-Germanic *gaido (cf. Lombardic gaida "spear"), from PIE *ghei- (cf. Sanskrit hetih "missile, projectile," himsati "he injures;" Avestan zaena- "weapon;" Greek khaios "shepherd's staff;" Old English gar "spear;" Old Irish gae "spear"). Figurative use is since 16c., probably from the Bible.
1570s, from goad (n.); earliest use is figurative. Related: Goaded; goading.