1. Informal. a potato.
  2. a spadelike instrument, especially one with a narrow blade, as for digging up or cutting the roots of weeds.
  3. a chisellike tool for removing bark.
  4. a pointed leg or stake for staying or supporting dredging or earth-boring machinery.
  5. a short pipe, as for connecting a water pipe with a meter.
  6. Surgery. an instrument having a dull flattened blade for removing substances or foreign bodies from certain parts of the body, as wax from the ear.
verb (used with object), spud·ded, spud·ding.
  1. to remove with a spud.
Verb Phrases
  1. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for spudded

Historical Examples of spudded

  • Laths tipped with steel were spudded through the butt ends of the stalks—five or six plants to each lath.

    Plowing On Sunday

    Sterling North

British Dictionary definitions for spudded


  1. an informal word for potato (def. 1)
  2. a narrow-bladed spade for cutting roots, digging up weeds, etc
  3. Also called: spudder a tool, resembling a chisel, for removing bark from trees
verb spuds, spudding or spudded
  1. (tr) to remove (bark) or eradicate (weeds) with a spud
  2. (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 spudded



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

spudded in Medicine


  1. 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.