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gad1

[gad]
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verb (used without object), gad·ded, gad·ding.
  1. to move restlessly or aimlessly from one place to another: to gad about.
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noun
  1. the act of gadding.
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Origin of gad1

1425–75; late Middle English gadden, perhaps back formation from gadeling companion in arms, fellow (in 16th century, vagabond, wanderer), Old English gædeling, derivative of gæd fellowship; see gather, -ling1
Related formsgad·der, noungad·ding·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for gadder

gad1

verb gads, gadding or gadded
  1. (intr; often foll by about or around) to go out in search of pleasure, esp in an aimless manner; gallivant
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noun
  1. carefree adventure (esp in the phrase on or upon the gad)
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Derived Formsgadder, noun

Word Origin

C15: back formation from obsolete gadling companion, from Old English, from gæd fellowship; related to Old High German gatuling

gad2

noun
  1. mining a short chisel-like instrument for breaking rock or coal from the face
  2. a goad for driving cattle
  3. a western US word for spur (def. 1)
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verb gads, gadding or gadded
  1. (tr) mining to break up or loosen with a gad
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Word Origin

C13: from Old Norse gaddr spike; related to Old High German gart, Gothic gazds spike

Gad1

noun, interjection
  1. an archaic euphemism for God by Gad!
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Gad2

noun Old Testament
    1. Jacob's sixth son, whose mother was Zilpah, Leah's maid
    2. the Israelite tribe descended from him
    3. the territory of this tribe, lying to the east of the Jordan and extending southwards from the Sea of Galilee
  1. a prophet and admonisher of David (I Samuel 22; II Samuel 24)
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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 gadder

gad

v.

"to rove about," mid-15c., perhaps a back-formation from Middle English gadeling (Old English gædeling) "kinsman, fellow, companion in arms," but which had a deteriorated sense of "rogue, vagabond" by c.1300 (it also had a meaning "wandering," but this is attested only from 16c.); or else it should be associated with gad (n.) "a goad for driving cattle." Related: Gadding.

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gad

n.

"goad, metal rod," early 13c., from Old Norse gaddr "spike, nail," from Proto-Germanic *gadaz "pointed stick" (see yard (n.2)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper