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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

Synonyms for goad

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

Related Words for goading

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 goading

Contemporary Examples of goading

Historical Examples of goading

  • So she began to flutter round her husband, goading him on to bestir himself.

  • Have you come here with the express intent of goading me to madness?

    The White Lie

    William Le Queux

  • Esther could not leave this strange sufferer with his goading conscience.

    Oswald Langdon

    Carson Jay Lee

  • It is the restraint only that is killing him—that is goading him to madness!

  • Why, Agnes, that is what the governor has been goading me to do.

    The Making of Bobby Burnit

    George Randolph Chester

British Dictionary definitions for goading


  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 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 goading



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