• synonyms


See more synonyms for goad on Thesaurus.com
  1. a stick with a pointed or electrically charged end, for driving cattle, oxen, etc.; prod.
  2. anything that pricks or wounds like such a stick.
  3. something that encourages, urges, or drives; a stimulus.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to prick or drive with, or as if with, a goad; prod; incite.
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Origin of goad

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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

prod, tease, coerce, harass, hound, provoke, force, propel, move, sting, thrust, arouse, prompt, animate, whip, exhort, irritate, sound, encourage, trigger

Examples from the Web for goaded

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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


  1. a sharp pointed stick for urging on cattle, etc
  2. anything that acts as a spur or incitement
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  1. (tr) to drive with or as if with a goad; spur; incite
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Derived Formsgoadlike, adjective

Word Origin

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.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper