verb (used with object), pad·ded, pad·ding.

verb (used without object), pad·ded, pad·ding.

to insure the proper forging of a piece.


    on the pad, Slang. (of a police officer) receiving a bribe, especially on a regular basis.

Origin of pad

1545–55; orig. special uses of obsolete pad bundle to lie on, perhaps blend of pack1 and bed




a dull, muffled sound, as of footsteps on the ground.
a road horse, as distinguished from a hunting or working horse.
a highwayman.
British Dialect. a path, lane, or road.

verb (used with object), pad·ded, pad·ding.

to travel along on foot.
to beat down by treading.

verb (used without object), pad·ded, pad·ding.

to travel on foot; walk.
to walk so that one's footsteps make a dull, muffled sound.

Origin of pad

1545–55; (noun) < Middle Dutch or Low German pad path (orig. argot; hence, apparently, “highwayman” and “horse”); (v.) < Middle Dutch padden to make or follow a path, cognate with Old English pæththan to traverse, derivative of pæth path; defs 1, 8 perhaps represent an independent expressive word that has been influenced by other senses


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

Examples from the Web for pad

Contemporary Examples of pad

Historical Examples of pad

  • He went over to the desk and began to scribble a name on the pad of paper.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • For seconds, there was revealed the busy stenographer, bent over his pad.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • "We are very glad to welcome you to the McKee family," was what was written on the pad.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • "Write it on the regular form," she said, and pushed a pad and pencil toward him.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • The upholsterer should so fill the pad that the wearer will have difficulty in balancing it.

British Dictionary definitions for pad




a thick piece of soft material used to make something comfortable, give it shape, or protect it
a guard made of flexible resilient material worn in various sports to protect parts of the body
Also called: stamp pad, ink pad a block of firm absorbent material soaked with ink for transferring to a rubber stamp
Also called: notepad, writing pad a number of sheets of paper fastened together along one edge
a flat piece of stiff material used to back a piece of blotting paper
  1. the fleshy cushion-like underpart of the foot of a cat, dog, etc
  2. any of the parts constituting such a structure
any of various level surfaces or flat-topped structures, such as a launch pad
entomol a nontechnical name for pulvillus
the large flat floating leaf of the water lily
electronics a resistive attenuator network inserted in the path of a signal to reduce amplitude or to match one circuit to another
slang a person's residence
slang a bed or bedroom

verb pads, padding or padded (tr)

to line, stuff, or fill out with soft material, esp in order to protect or give shape to
(often foll by out) to inflate with irrelevant or false informationto pad out a story

Word Origin for pad

C16: origin uncertain; compare Low German pad sole of the foot



verb pads, padding or padded

(intr; often foll by along, up, etc) to walk with a soft or muffled tread
(when intr, often foll by around) to travel (a route) on foot, esp at a slow pace; trampto pad around the country


a dull soft sound, esp of footsteps
archaic short for footpad
archaic, or dialect a slow-paced horse; nag
Australian a path or tracka cattle pad

Word Origin for pad

C16: perhaps from Middle Dutch paden, from pad path
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 pad

1550s, "bundle of straw to lie on," possibly from or related to Low German or obsolete Flemish pad "sole of the foot," which is perhaps from PIE *pent- "to tread, go" (see find (v.)), but cf. path (n.). Meaning "cushion-like part of an animal foot" is from 1790 in English. Generalized sense of "something soft" is from c.1700; the sense of "a number of sheets fastened together" (in writing pad, drawing pad, etc.) is from 1865.

Sense of "takeoff or landing place for a helicopter" is from 1960. The word persisted in underworld slang from early 18c. in the sense "sleeping place," and was popularized again c.1959, originally in beatnik speech (later hippie slang) in its original English sense of "place to sleep temporarily."


"to walk," 1550s, probably from Middle Dutch paden "walk along a path, make a path," from pad, pat "path." Originally criminals' slang, perhaps of imitative origin (sound of feet trudging on a dirt road). Related: Padded; padding.


"to stuff, increase the amount of," 1827, from pad (n.); transferred to expense accounts, etc. from 1913. Related: Padded; padding. Notion of a padded cell in an asylum or prison is from 1862 (padded room).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pad in Medicine




A soft material forming a cushion, used in applying or relieving pressure on a part, or in filling a depression so that dressings can fit snugly.
A fatty mass of tissue acting as a cushion in the body, such as the fleshy underside of a finger or toe.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.