- 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 wade on Thesaurus.com
- 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 in
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.
Idioms and Phrases with wade in
Also, wade into. Plunge into, begin or attack resolutely and energetically, as in She waded into that pile of correspondence. This idiom transfers entering water to beginning some action. [Mid-1800s]