- to walk in water, when partially immersed: He wasn't swimming, he was wading.
- to play in water: The children were wading in the pool most of the afternoon.
- to walk through water, snow, sand, or any other substance that impedes free motion or offers resistance to movement: to wade through the mud.
- to make one's way slowly or laboriously (often followed by through): to wade through a dull book.
- Obsolete. to go or proceed.
- to pass through or cross by wading; ford: to wade a stream.
- an act or instance of wading: We went for a wade in the shallows.
- wade in/into,
- to begin energetically.
- to attack strongly: to wade into a thoughtless child; to wade into a mob of rioters.
Origin of wade
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- Benjamin Franklin,1800–78, U.S. lawyer and antislavery politician.
- a male given name.
Related Wordsbathe, trek, splash, stumble, paddle, attempt, toil, launch, initiate, attack, drudge, tackle, labor, walk, start, ford
Examples from the Web for wade
There are no emails for us to wade through—even if we were champing at the bits.The IRS Email Double Standard
November 25, 2014
They were busily implementing these in cases like Roe v. Wade when a right-wing insurgency took them by surprise.A Reminder: Our Justices are Politicians in Robes
November 13, 2014
To be sure, a more activist Supreme Court could still have decided to wade into the waters and decide this issue once and for all.Supreme Court to Gay-Marriage Foes: Get Lost
October 6, 2014
In the eloquent words of colonial preacher John Winthrop, “When a man is to wade through deep water, there is required tallness.”For Short Men in 2014, The News Is Surprisingly Good
September 13, 2014
Safechuck added his name to a suit originally filed by Wade Robson in May 2013.Exclusive: Michael Jackson Hit With New Sex Abuse Claim
May 12, 2014
"Does beat all how she kin do it," thought Wade, listlessly.
Mrs. Wade sighed as she remembered how everyone had flocked around Norah.
"A Wade check is always honored," was his cryptic assertion.
This time, Mrs. Wade admitted bravely to herself that her jealousy was not for Billy.
"I s'pose you know more'n your father and mother," suggested Wade.
- to walk with the feet immersed in (water, a stream, etc)the girls waded the river at the ford
- (intr often foll by through) to proceed with difficultyto wade through a book
- (intr; foll by in or into) to attack energetically
- the act or an instance of wading
- (Sarah) Virginia. born 1945, English tennis player; won three Grand Slam singles titles: US Open (1968), Australian Open (1972), and Wimbledon (1977)
Word Origin and History for wade
Old English wadan "to go forward, proceed," in poetic use only, except as oferwaden "wade across," from Proto-Germanic *wadan (cf. Old Norse vaða, Danish vade, Old Frisian wada, Dutch waden, Old High German watan, German waten "to wade"), from PIE root *wadh- "to go," found only in Germanic and Latin (cf. Latin vadere "to go," vadum "shoal, ford," vadare "to wade"). Italian guado, French gué "ford" are Germanic loan-words.
Specifically of walking into water from c.1200. Originally a strong verb (past tense wod, past participle wad); weak since 16c. Figurative sense of "to go into" (action, battle, etc.) is recorded from late 14c. Related: Waded; wading.