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verb (used with object), prod·ded, prod·ding.
  1. to poke or jab with or as if with something pointed: I prodded him with my elbow.
  2. to rouse or incite as if by poking; nag; goad.
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  1. the act of prodding; a poke or jab.
  2. any of various pointed instruments used as a goad, especially an electrified rod that administers a mild shock: a cattle prod.
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Origin of prod

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

Synonyms for prod

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noun Chiefly Ulster Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.
  1. a Protestant, especially an Anglo-Irish Protestant.
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Origin of Prod

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


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

Related Words for prod

press, nudge, prompt, propel, motivate, goad, remind, provoke, spur, stimulate, prick, crowd, shove, dig, drive, punch, push, jog, elbow, jab

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
  1. to poke or jab with or as if with a pointed object
  2. (tr) to rouse or urge to action
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  1. the act or an instance of prodding
  2. a sharp or pointed object
  3. a stimulus or reminder
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Derived Formsprodder, noun

Word Origin for prod

C16: of uncertain origin


  1. derogatory, slang another word for Protestant
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abbreviation for
  1. produce
  2. produced
  3. product
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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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper