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.
verb (used with object)
  1. 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

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

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
  1. (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 goading



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