a stick with a pointed or electrically charged end, for driving cattle, oxen, etc.; prod.
anything that pricks or wounds like such a stick.
something that encourages, urges, or drives; a stimulus.

verb (used with object)

to prick or drive with, or as if with, a goad; prod; incite.

Origin of goad

before 900; Middle English gode, Old English gād; compare Langobardic gaida spearhead
Related formsgoad·like, adjectiveun·goad·ed, adjective

Synonyms for goad

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for goaded

Contemporary Examples of goaded

Historical Examples of goaded

  • On the contrary, it goaded him on, and he finished by unburthening his mind in a flood of words.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • Goaded to fury, Phil swung at it with his club and hurled it through the air.

    The Einstein See-Saw

    Miles John Breuer

  • Poor Jed, the long-suffering, was goaded into a mild retort.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Goaded by something akin to despair, she was now more dangerous than resolute.

  • With the roar of a 'goaded bull the German attempted to fling forward.

British Dictionary definitions for goaded



a sharp pointed stick for urging on cattle, etc
anything that acts as a spur or incitement


(tr) to drive with or as if with a goad; spur; incite
Derived Formsgoadlike, adjective

Word Origin for goad

Old English gād, of Germanic origin, related to Old English gār, Old Norse geirr spear
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 goaded



1570s, from goad (n.); earliest use is figurative. Related: Goaded; goading.



Old English gad "point, spearhead, arrowhead," from Proto-Germanic *gaido (cf. Lombardic gaida "spear"), from PIE *ghei- (cf. Sanskrit hetih "missile, projectile," himsati "he injures;" Avestan zaena- "weapon;" Greek khaios "shepherd's staff;" Old English gar "spear;" Old Irish gae "spear"). Figurative use is since 16c., probably from the Bible.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper