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

to poke or jab with or as if with something pointed: I prodded him with my elbow.
to rouse or incite as if by poking; nag; goad.


the act of prodding; a poke or jab.
any of various pointed instruments used as a goad, especially an electrified rod that administers a mild shock: a cattle prod.

Origin of prod

First recorded in 1525–35; origin uncertain
Related formsprod·der, nounun·prod·ded, adjective

Synonyms for prod



noun Chiefly Ulster Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.

a Protestant, especially an Anglo-Irish Protestant.

Origin of Prod

by shortening; d probably reflects the voicing or flap characteristic of some Ulster accents

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

Examples from the Web for prod

Contemporary Examples of prod

Historical Examples of prod

  • Then again came the prod of his instinct and the warning of past experience.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • "Prod at him with a broom handle, Mrs. Beale," urged Ukridge.

  • He was roused again by a prod of a sword, and bidden to stand up.

    The Northern Iron

    George A. Birmingham

  • "Prod him with the icicle," said the Kangaroo to the Polar Bear.

    Andiron Tales

    John Kendrick Bangs

  • That officer picked up a pitchfork and began to prod the hay.

British Dictionary definitions for prod


verb prods, prodding or prodded

to poke or jab with or as if with a pointed object
(tr) to rouse or urge to action


the act or an instance of prodding
a sharp or pointed object
a stimulus or reminder
Derived Formsprodder, noun

Word Origin for prod

C16: of uncertain origin



derogatory, slang another word for Protestant


abbreviation for

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 prod

1530s, "to poke with a stick," of uncertain origin; possibly [Barnhart] a variant of brod, from Middle English brodden "to goad," from Old Norse broddr "shaft, spike" (see brad), or perhaps imitative [OED]. Figurative sense is recorded from 1871. Related: Prodded; prodding.


1787, "pointed instrument used in prodding;" 1802, "act of prodding;" from prod (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper