goad

noun
\ ˈgōd How to pronounce goad (audio) \

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

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

For years, Chief Justice Roberts remained silent as Mr. Trump goaded the judiciary with tweets on individual judges and cast aspersions that political agendas rather than legal reasoning had prompted courts to rule against him. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Chief Justice Roberts Rebuts Trump’s Attacks on Judges, and President Tweets Back," 21 Nov. 2018 Trump's public statements Tuesday about pulling out of Syria took his top military advisors by surprise — a pattern for Trump, who often floats decisions in public or on Twitter to goad officials into action. Tracy Wilkinson, latimes.com, "Trump orders Pentagon to prepare for withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria, but some advisors push back," 4 Apr. 2018 Over at the Pembrooke, Hiram returns from his morning run and tries to goad Veronica into a fight by filling her in on Archie’s attempted escape. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Recap Season 3 Episode 5: Can Archie Escape From a Teenage Fight Club?!," 15 Nov. 2018 As recently as a few weeks ago the New York Times goaded its readers in an editorial to fight the nomination of the latest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Fox News, "Anthony Scaramucci on Trump's Ohio rally, 2018 midterms," 5 Aug. 2018 In his best scene, Marvin goads Walker into flashing his temper, attacking him with a knife before disarming the much bigger guy. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, "Clint Walker, Star of 1950s TV Western 'Cheyenne,' Dies at 90," 22 May 2018 Melina goads Lidia, ruining her clean laundry and shouting insults, until the two come to blows in the building's stairwell. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "My Brilliant Friend Producer Breaks Down the Violence of Episode 1," 19 Nov. 2018 Trump berated Sessions privately and, starting in July 2017, mocked and insulted him publicly in an apparent effort to goad him into resigning. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "The many scandals of Trump’s new acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, explained," 14 Nov. 2018 Sometimes a service that’s supposed to save you money ends up goading you into spending way more. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "The services we canceled this year, from MoviePass to Netflix," 22 Aug. 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.

See More

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 and Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about goad

Statistics for goad

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for goad

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce goad (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on goad

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with goad

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for goad

Spanish Central: Translation of goad

Nglish: Translation of goad for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of goad for Arabic Speakers

Comments on goad

What made you want to look up goad? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!