[ ram-rod ]
/ ˈræmˌrɒd /


a rod for ramming down the charge of a muzzleloading firearm.
a cleaning rod for the barrel of a firearm.
a strict disciplinarian; martinet.

verb (used with object), ram·rod·ded, ram·rod·ding.

to exert discipline and authority on.
to strike or injure with or as if with a ramrod.
to accomplish or put into action by force, intimidation, etc.: to ramrod a bill through Congress.

Nearby words

  1. ramphal,
  2. ramphele,
  3. rampike,
  4. rampion,
  5. rampur,
  6. ramsay,
  7. ramsay hunt's syndrome,
  8. ramsay, allan,
  9. ramsay, sir william,
  10. ramsden eyepiece

Origin of ramrod

First recorded in 1750–60; ram1 + rod

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

Examples from the Web for ramrod

British Dictionary definitions for ramrod


/ (ˈræmˌrɒd) /


a rod for cleaning the barrel of a rifle or other small firearms
a rod for ramming in the charge of a muzzle-loading firearm
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 ramrod



1757, literally "a rod used in ramming" (the charge of a gun), from ram (v.) + rod. Used figuratively for straightness or stiffness from 1939, also figuratively for formality, primness (ramroddy is in Century Dictionary, 1902). The verb is 1948, from the noun. Related: Ramrodded; ramrodding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper