- to walk in water, when partially immersed: He wasn't swimming, he was wading.
- to play in water: The children were wading in the pool most of the afternoon.
- to walk through water, snow, sand, or any other substance that impedes free motion or offers resistance to movement: to wade through the mud.
- to make one's way slowly or laboriously (often followed by through): to wade through a dull book.
- Obsolete. to go or proceed.
- to pass through or cross by wading; ford: to wade a stream.
- an act or instance of wading: We went for a wade in the shallows.
- wade in/into,
- to begin energetically.
- to attack strongly: to wade into a thoughtless child; to wade into a mob of rioters.
Origin of wade
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for wading
After a long day of him wading and me watching him in the muck, cocktails were required.Up to a Point: In Defense of Lobbyists
P. J. O’Rourke
October 25, 2014
Wading so directly into Syria's bloody conflict is fraught with pitfalls for the U.S. government.Post Election, Obama Gambles on Syrian Rebels
November 10, 2012
When the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department stepped into AIG, it was obvious they were wading into a swamp.AIG Stock Sale Vindicates Treasury Bailout
September 10, 2012
Beazley and the judge were wading through the puzzling provenance of an entity called the Siberian Investment Company.Oligarch v. Oligarch: London's Courts Attract Litigious Tycoons
July 23, 2012
That next morning felt slow and strange, like wading through quicksand.Handcuffs, Ropes, and an Open Window: How I Escaped an Unthinkable Childhood
January 29, 2012
I said, "Yes, 'm, but I am to go in wading when it gets warmer."W. A. G.'s Tale
And wading into the water, she said in a severe tone, 'I will catch the fish; you can watch me.'Abbe Mouret's Transgression
He almost ran down the hill and crossed the creek at the wading place.
I didn't say you had been wading, and I didn't suppose you really had.
Then, wading along the slippery bank, I brought her to the skiff.The Rise of Roscoe Paine
Joseph C. Lincoln
- to walk with the feet immersed in (water, a stream, etc)the girls waded the river at the ford
- (intr often foll by through) to proceed with difficultyto wade through a book
- (intr; foll by in or into) to attack energetically
- the act or an instance of wading
- (Sarah) Virginia. born 1945, English tennis player; won three Grand Slam singles titles: US Open (1968), Australian Open (1972), and Wimbledon (1977)
Word Origin and History for wading
Old English wadan "to go forward, proceed," in poetic use only, except as oferwaden "wade across," from Proto-Germanic *wadan (cf. Old Norse vaða, Danish vade, Old Frisian wada, Dutch waden, Old High German watan, German waten "to wade"), from PIE root *wadh- "to go," found only in Germanic and Latin (cf. Latin vadere "to go," vadum "shoal, ford," vadare "to wade"). Italian guado, French gué "ford" are Germanic loan-words.
Specifically of walking into water from c.1200. Originally a strong verb (past tense wod, past participle wad); weak since 16c. Figurative sense of "to go into" (action, battle, etc.) is recorded from late 14c. Related: Waded; wading.