[ wod ]
See synonyms for: wadwaddedwaddingwadder on Thesaurus.com

  1. a small mass, lump, or ball of anything: a wad of paper;a wad of tobacco.

  2. a small mass of cotton, wool, or other fibrous or soft material, used for stuffing, padding, packing, etc.

  1. a roll of something, especially of bank notes.

  2. Informal. a comparatively large stock or quantity of something, especially money: He's got a healthy wad salted away.

  3. a plug of cloth, tow, paper, or the like, used to hold the powder or shot, or both, in place in a gun or cartridge.

  4. British Dialect. a bundle, especially a small one, of hay, straw, etc.

verb (used with object),wad·ded, wad·ding.
  1. to form (material) into a wad.

  2. to roll tightly (often followed by up): He wadded up his cap and stuck it into his pocket.

  1. to hold in place by a wad: They rammed and wadded the shot into their muskets.

  2. to put a wad into; stuff with a wad.

  3. to fill out with or as if with wadding; stuff; pad: to wad a quilt;to wad a speech with useless information.

verb (used without object),wad·ded, wad·ding.
  1. to become formed into a wad: The damp tissues had wadded in his pocket.

Idioms about wad

  1. shoot one's wad, Informal.

    • to spend all one's money: He shot his wad on a new car.

    • to expend all one's energies or resources at one time: She shot her wad writing her first novel and her second wasn't as good.

    • Slang: Vulgar. (of a man) to have an orgasm.

Origin of wad

First recorded in 1400–50; Middle English wadde “small bundle of straw used as a pad beneath a horse’s girth to prevent chafing,” from Medieval Latin wadda; further origin uncertain

Other words from wad

  • wadder, noun
  • un·wad·ded, adjective

Other definitions for wad (2 of 2)

[ wod ]

  1. a soft, earthy, black to dark-brown mass of manganese oxide minerals.

Origin of wad

First recorded in 1605–15; origin uncertain

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use wad in a sentence

  • The lines of her figure were shrouded in a loose, wadded gown of dove-coloured silk, bordered with swan's-down.

  • A hillman walked behind him with a wadded cotton-quilt and spread it carefully by the fire.

    Kim | Rudyard Kipling

British Dictionary definitions for wad (1 of 2)


/ (wɒd) /

  1. a small mass or ball of fibrous or soft material, such as cotton wool, used esp for packing or stuffing

    • a plug of paper, cloth, leather, etc, pressed against a charge to hold it in place in a muzzle-loading cannon

    • a disc of paper, felt, pasteboard, etc, used to hold in place the powder and shot in a shotgun cartridge

  1. a roll or bundle of something, esp of banknotes

  2. US and Canadian slang a large quantity, esp of money

  3. British dialect a bundle of hay or straw

  4. British military slang a bun: char and a wad

verbwads, wadding or wadded
  1. to form (something) into a wad

  2. (tr) to roll into a wad or bundle

  1. (tr)

    • to hold (a charge) in place with a wad

    • to insert a wad into (a gun)

  2. (tr) to pack or stuff with wadding; pad

Origin of wad

C14: from Late Latin wadda; related to German Watte cotton wool

Derived forms of wad

  • wadder, noun

British Dictionary definitions for wad (2 of 2)


/ (wɒd) /

  1. a soft dark earthy amorphous material consisting of decomposed manganese minerals: occurs in damp marshy areas

Origin of wad

C17: of unknown origin

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