- a small mass, lump, or ball of anything: a wad of paper; a wad of tobacco.
- a small mass of cotton, wool, or other fibrous or soft material, used for stuffing, padding, packing, etc.
- a roll of something, especially of bank notes.
- Informal. a comparatively large stock or quantity of something, especially money: He's got a healthy wad salted away.
- a plug of cloth, tow, paper, or the like, used to hold the powder or shot, or both, in place in a gun or cartridge.
- British Dialect. a bundle, especially a small one, of hay, straw, etc.
- to form (material) into a wad.
- to roll tightly (often followed by up): He wadded up his cap and stuck it into his pocket.
- to hold in place by a wad: They rammed and wadded the shot into their muskets.
- to put a wad into; stuff with a wad.
- to fill out with or as if with wadding; stuff; pad: to wad a quilt; to wad a speech with useless information.
- to become formed into a wad: The damp tissues had wadded in his pocket.
- shoot one's wad, Informal.
- to spend all one's money: He shot his wad on a new car.
- to expend all one's energies or resources at one time: She shot her wad writing her first novel and her second wasn't as good.
- Slang: Vulgar.(of a man) to have an orgasm.
Origin of wad1
- a soft, earthy, black to dark-brown mass of manganese oxide minerals.
Origin of wad2
Examples from the Web for wad
HE was arrested for drug trafficking outside the dry cleaners and police found a wad of cash in his left front pocket.Rob Ford’s Web of Criminal Friends
November 22, 2013
Peggy commits a grievous faux pas when she nervously eyes her purse—with a wad of cash inside—next to the sofa.‘Mad Men’ Returns: A Recap of Season Five
April 5, 2013
He was handsome, flirty, and always had a wad of cash from which he dispensed $10 and $20 bills.Whitey Bulger’s Women: Inside the Terror and Glamour of His Ex-Girlfriends
June 11, 2012
A quick glance—a sniff—is all it takes to acknowledge a wad.Last Look at Munch’s ‘The Scream’ as Painting Is Auctioned for $119M
May 3, 2012
Justice fronted UCE 48 a wad of 40 hundred-dollar bills to pay the pharmacist.The Vegas Suicide Mystery
February 24, 2011
A vera good right, I think; or if he hadna, I wad like to know wha had?
The big fellows at the clubs always had a wad and peeled off bills like skin off an onion.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
"It wad hit the pair of 'em," McNab chuckled, and with that word the Devil conquered.Quaint Courtships
But I wad sing on wanton wing, When youthfu' May its bloom renew'd.
How I wad mourn, when it was torn By autumn wild, and winter rude!
- a small mass or ball of fibrous or soft material, such as cotton wool, used esp for packing or stuffing
- a plug of paper, cloth, leather, etc, pressed against a charge to hold it in place in a muzzle-loading cannon
- a disc of paper, felt, pasteboard, etc, used to hold in place the powder and shot in a shotgun cartridge
- a roll or bundle of something, esp of banknotes
- US and Canadian slang a large quantity, esp of money
- British dialect a bundle of hay or straw
- British military slang a bunchar and a wad
- to form (something) into a wad
- (tr) to roll into a wad or bundle
- to hold (a charge) in place with a wad
- to insert a wad into (a gun)
- (tr) to pack or stuff with wadding; pad
- a soft dark earthy amorphous material consisting of decomposed manganese minerals: occurs in damp marshy areas
Word Origin and History for wad
early 15c., "soft material for padding or stuffing," of uncertain origin, and the different meanings may represent more than one source. Among the possible connections are Medieval Latin wadda, Dutch watten, and Middle English wadmal (late 14c.) "woolen cloth," which seems to be from Old Norse vaðmal "a woolen fabric of Scandinavia," probably from vað "cloth" + mal "measure."
The meaning "bundle of currency" is American English, 1778. To shoot (one's) wad "do all one can do" is recorded from 1914. The immediate source of the expression probably is the sense of "disk of cloth used to hold powder and shot in place in a gun." Wad in slang sense of "a load of semen" is attested from 1920s, and the expression now often is felt in this sense. As a suffix, -wad in 1980s joined -bag, -ball, -head in combinations meaning "disgusting or unpleasant person."
1570s, from wad (n.). Related: Wadded; wadding.