goad

noun
\ˈgōd \

Definition of goad 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : something that pains as if by pricking : thorn

b : something that urges or stimulates into action : spur The accident has been a goad to the company to improve its safety record.

2 : a pointed rod used to urge on an animal

goad

verb
goaded; goading; goads

Definition of goad (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to incite or rouse as if with a goad (see goad entry 1 sense 1b) was goaded into fighting with another player

2 : to drive (an animal) with a goad (see goad entry 1 sense 2)

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Choose the Right Synonym for goad

Noun

motive, impulse, incentive, inducement, spur, goad mean a stimulus to action. motive implies an emotion or desire operating on the will and causing it to act. a motive for the crime impulse suggests a driving power arising from personal temperament or constitution. buying on impulse incentive applies to an external influence (such as an expected reward) inciting to action. a bonus was offered as an incentive inducement suggests a motive prompted by the deliberate enticements or allurements of another. offered a watch as an inducement to subscribe spur applies to a motive that stimulates the faculties or increases energy or ardor. fear was a spur to action goad suggests a motive that keeps one going against one's will or desire. thought insecurity a goad to worker efficiency

Examples of goad in a Sentence

Noun

The threat of legal action is a powerful goad to companies that have ignored the regulations. the threat of skin cancer—not to mention the prospect of wrinkles—should be sufficient goad for using sunscreen

Verb

The threat of legal action should goad them into complying. tried to goad me into auditioning for the play
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The partisan media is its instrument of choice, and the hotter a brouhaha in the news over whatever issue—taxes, entitlements, race, religion, class, trade, defense, choose your political goad—the greater the victory for Russia. WSJ, "Russia Wanted to Disrupt U.S. and Has Succeeded," 11 June 2018 As the 30-year-old United man made his way into the stadium, a section of Liverpool fans approached him and proceeded the goad and hurl a number of verbal obscenities his way. SI.com, "VIDEO: Section of Liverpool Fans Heckle Manchester United Star Upon Arrival at UCL Final in Kiev," 28 May 2018 So maybe biology doesn't need much of a goad to get started. NBC News, "Simple math shows how many space aliens may be out there," 26 Jan. 2018 Setting unattainable goals doesn’t work well, but offering a reachable one can be a useful goad. Dan Ariely, WSJ, "The Smart Way to Ask Your Friends for Money," 17 Aug. 2017 Dominus strongly implies that Carney was caving to a goad on Gelman’s blog. Daniel Engber, Slate Magazine, "The Trials of Amy Cuddy," 19 Oct. 2017 And shame is the goad of ruthless political herdsmen. John Kass, Alaska Dispatch News, "Can you date a Democrat? Bring a Republican home to dinner?," 17 July 2017 In 1974, the release of the June 23rd tape, which became known as the smoking gun, was the final goad to Goldwater and the other Republicans to cease their defense of Nixon and to join calls for his ouster. Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker, "Firing Comey Was a Grave Abuse of Power," 22 May 2017 Hitler’s deputy Martin Bormann is Gunther’s chief goad. Richard Lipez, The Denver Post, "A German gumshoe refuses to goose-step in “Prussian Blue”," 30 Mar. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But now that the Supreme Court has opened the floodgates, the confusion and fear of many online entrepreneurs may goad Congress into action. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, "Online tax bills are hugely complicated — more than you ever knew — and small firms are finding that out," 25 June 2018 During those tense months, the president, annoyed by bellicose language from Pyongyang, was goading Kim about the size of his nuclear button. Washington Post, "Analysis: Has Trump blown chances for talks with NKorea?," 26 May 2018 But before springing into the flamethrower routine, Beatty goads Montag into touching and flipping through a book. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "A perfect time for Fahrenheit 451 remakes; HBO’s version falls short," 18 May 2018 Apparently a crooked deputy lied to FP to goad the Serpents into destructive behavior, clearly orchestrated by Hiram (Mark Consuelos). refinery29.com, "Riverdale Season 2, Episode 22 Recap: "Brave New World"," 17 May 2018 The president has spent the past week goading China into a potential trade war, threatening to withdraw from Syria, and purporting to be punitive to Russia. Frank Rich, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Only Knows Chaos," 5 Apr. 2018 Steve Lehman, on alto saxophone, was a picture of total command — rhythmically goading the rest of the band and pulling the drummer Craig Weinrib into a bodily exchange. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "March in Live Jazz: 5 Standout Shows," 30 Mar. 2018 The fact that the media will be up in arms about the whole thing will goad Trump further, and Putin will be more than happy to go along for the troll. Ian Bremmer, Time, "Trump and Putin Will Call Their Summit a Success. But Don't Expect U.S.-Russia Relations to Improve," 6 July 2018 However, not being one to ever want to show weakness in his arena, Brown briskly leapt to his feet before strutting away from the scene of the crime while verbally goading supporters and flexing his muscles. SI.com, "PHOTO: Scott Brown Lives Up to 'Hard Man' Tag During Celtic's Win Over Aberdeen," 26 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'goad.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of goad

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for goad

Noun

Middle English gode, from Old English gād spear, goad; akin to Langobardic gaida spear, and perhaps to Sanskrit hinoti he urges on

Verb

see goad entry 1

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Statistics for goad

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Time Traveler for goad

The first known use of goad was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for goad

goad

noun

English Language Learners Definition of goad

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a pointed rod used to make an animal move forward

: someone or something that urges or forces someone to do something

goad

verb

English Language Learners Definition of goad (Entry 2 of 2)

: to urge or force (someone) to do something

goad

noun
\ˈgōd \

Kids Definition of goad

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a pointed rod used to keep an animal moving

2 : something that urges or forces someone to act

goad

verb
goaded; goading

Kids Definition of goad (Entry 2 of 2)

: to urge or force a person or an animal to act … he goaded them toward school any way he could.— Jerry Spinelli, Maniac Magee

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