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  1. any of various burrowing, carnivorous mammals of the family Mustelidae, as Taxidea taxus, of North America, and Meles meles, of Europe and Asia.
  2. the fur of this mammal.
  3. Australian.
    1. a wombat.
    2. bandicoot(def 2).
  4. (initial capital letter) a native or inhabitant of Wisconsin (the Badger State) (used as a nickname).
  5. a swablike device for cleaning excess mortar from the interiors of newly laid tile drains.
verb (used with object)
  1. to harass or urge persistently; pester; nag: I had to badger him into coming with us.

Origin of badger

1515–25; variant of badgeard, perhaps badge + -ard, in allusion to white mark or badge on head
Related formsun·badg·ered, adjectiveun·badg·er·ing, adjective

Synonyms for badger

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for badgered

Contemporary Examples of badgered

Historical Examples of badgered

  • She might have badgered the heir of Ballawhaine, but she never did so.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • "Ye should have had my podner here with ye this mornin'," badgered Landy.

    David Lannarck, Midget

    George S. Harney

  • Jason wanted to stop then but she badgered him into continuing.

    The Premiere

    Richard Sabia

  • I should not have arrested that man if I had not been badgered as I was.

  • He had badgered me—he was there to win if he could; I now was hot with the same design.

    Desert Dust

    Edwin L. Sabin

British Dictionary definitions for badgered


  1. any of various stocky omnivorous musteline mammals of the subfamily Melinae, such as Meles meles (Eurasian badger), occurring in Europe, Asia, and North America: order Carnivora (carnivores). They are typically large burrowing animals, with strong claws and a thick coat striped black and white on the headCompare ferret badger, hog badger
  2. honey badger another name for ratel
  1. (tr) to pester or harass

Word Origin for badger

C16: variant of badgeard, probably from badge (from the white mark on its forehead) + -ard
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 badgered



1520s, perhaps from bage "badge" (see badge) + -ard "one who carries some action or possesses some quality," suffix related to Middle High German -hart "bold" (see -ard). If so, the central notion is the badge-like white blaze on the animal's forehead (cf. French blaireau "badger," from Old French blarel, from bler "marked with a white spot;" also obsolete Middle English bauson "badger," from Old French bauzan, literally "black-and-white spotted"). But blaze (n.2) was the usual word for this.

An Old English name for the creature was the Celtic borrowing brock; also græg (Middle English grei, grey). In American English, the nickname of inhabitants or natives of Wisconsin (1833).



1790, from badger (n.), based on the behavior of the dogs in the medieval sport of badger-baiting, still practiced in 18c. England. Related: Badgered; badgering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper