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verb (used with object), prod·ded, prod·ding.
  1. to poke or jab with or as if with something pointed: I prodded him with my elbow.
  2. to rouse or incite as if by poking; nag; goad.
  1. the act of prodding; a poke or jab.
  2. any of various pointed instruments used as a goad, especially an electrified rod that administers a mild shock: a cattle prod.

Origin of prod

First recorded in 1525–35; origin uncertain
Related formsprod·der, nounun·prod·ded, adjective


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2. impel, stir, prompt, excite.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for prodder

Historical Examples

  • They recognized the taint of the Prodder blood in this fickleness.

    Aurora Floyd, Vol. I (of 3)</p>

    M. E. (Mary Elizabeth) Braddon

  • But the young woman had never heard the name of Prodder, and didn't think there was anybody in the neighbourhood as ever had.

    Aurora Floyd, Vol. II (of 3)</p>

    M. E. (Mary Elizabeth) Braddon

  • John Mellish turned round, fully expecting to see Mr. Prodder at his elbow, where he had been some time before.

    Aurora Floyd, Vol. II (of 3)</p>

    M. E. (Mary Elizabeth) Braddon

  • "Step this way, Mr. Prodder," he said, pointing to the open door of the study.

    Aurora Floyd, Vol. II (of 3)</p>

    M. E. (Mary Elizabeth) Braddon

  • Mr. Prodder indicated Doncaster by a backward jerk of his thumb.

    Aurora Floyd, Vol. III (of 3)</p>

    M. E. (Mary Elizabeth) Braddon

British Dictionary definitions for prodder


verb prods, prodding or prodded
  1. to poke or jab with or as if with a pointed object
  2. (tr) to rouse or urge to action
  1. the act or an instance of prodding
  2. a sharp or pointed object
  3. a stimulus or reminder
Derived Formsprodder, noun

Word Origin

C16: of uncertain origin


  1. derogatory, slang another word for Protestant
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

Word Origin and History for prodder



1530s, "to poke with a stick," of uncertain origin; possibly [Barnhart] a variant of brod, from Middle English brodden "to goad," from Old Norse broddr "shaft, spike" (see brad), or perhaps imitative [OED]. Figurative sense is recorded from 1871. Related: Prodded; prodding.



1787, "pointed instrument used in prodding;" 1802, "act of prodding;" from prod (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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