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

to remove with a spud.

Verb Phrases

spud in, to set up earth-boring equipment, especially for drilling an oil well.

Origin of spud

1400–50; late Middle English spudde short knife < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for spud

potato, tater

Examples from the Web for spud

Historical Examples of spud

  • He walked over to Spud, lifted the dummy into position in the crook of his arm.

  • He folded Spud in his arms and followed the two men to the door.

  • And now there was only a trace of the brogue in Spud's voice.

    The Finding of Haldgren

    Charles Willard Diffin

  • "Yellah," Spud had said, but the description was no longer apt.

    The Finding of Haldgren

    Charles Willard Diffin

  • But Spud O'Malley must have experienced no such delicacy of feeling.

    The Finding of Haldgren

    Charles Willard Diffin

British Dictionary definitions for spud



an informal word for potato (def. 1)
a narrow-bladed spade for cutting roots, digging up weeds, etc
Also called: spudder a tool, resembling a chisel, for removing bark from trees

verb spuds, spudding or spudded

(tr) to remove (bark) or eradicate (weeds) with a spud
(intr) to drill the first foot of an oil-well

Word Origin for spud

C15 spudde short knife, of unknown origin; applied later to a digging tool, and hence to a potato
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 spud

mid-15c., "small or poor knife," of uncertain origin probably related to Danish spyd, Old Norse spjot "spear," German Spiess "spear, lance"). Meaning "spade" is from 1660s; sense of "short or stumpy person or thing" is from 1680s; that of "potato" is first recorded 1845 in New Zealand English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

spud in Medicine




A blunt triangular knife used for removing foreign bodies from the cornea.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.