\ ˈpräd How to pronounce prod (audio) \
prodded; prodding

Definition of prod

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to thrust a pointed instrument into : prick
b : to incite to action : stir
2 : to poke or stir as if with a prod

intransitive verb

: to urge someone on


noun (1)

Definition of prod (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : a pointed instrument used to prod
2 : an incitement to act needed a few prods to remember her lines

Definition of prod (Entry 3 of 4)


noun (2)
\ ˈpräd How to pronounce Prod (audio) \

Definition of Prod (Entry 4 of 4)

chiefly Irish, often disparaging + offensive

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from prod


prodder noun

Synonyms for prod

Synonyms: Verb

dig, goad, spur

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of prod in a Sentence


She prodded him in the ribs to get his attention. She was prodded into joining the team.

Noun (1)

She gave him a sharp prod in the back. He picked up a stick and used it as a prod to get the donkey moving. He needed a few prods to remember his lines. She called me and gave me a prod about finishing the report.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Historically, Def Con has been a place where hackers poke and prod at flaws in systems — a practice that could cross the line into technically breaking the law. Donie O'sullivan And Kevin Collier, CNN, "Lawmakers descend on Vegas as election security looms," 8 Aug. 2019 Nor was South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg – who has struck up a very public alliance with Sharpton in an attempt to burnish his standing with black voters – prodded about the hypocrisy on display. Seth Mandel, Twin Cities, "Seth Mandel: Al Sharpton is not a lifelong fighter for justice," 2 Aug. 2019 Condé Nast Traveler has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card prod ucts. Louis Cheslaw, Condé Nast Traveler, "Delta's New Credit Card Bonus Gives Travelers 50 Percent Off Flights," 1 Aug. 2019 Here are five positions where messages appeared to be sent to players as a reward to some and/or prodding to others: 1. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde5: Were McMillan, Ballage part of 1st-day messages sent by Dolphins coaches?," 26 July 2019 Adam and Danielle Busby, parents of the famous Busby quints, are often flooded with prodding comments from fans online. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Outdaughtered's Danielle and Adam Busby Clap Back at Nosy Comments About Their Family," 23 July 2019 Buried beneath 900m of glacial ice, the hole couldn’t be poked and prodded directly. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Huge, previously unknown impact crater found beneath Greenland’s ice," 18 Nov. 2018 Minerals might have prodded life along by catalyzing reactions that produced biomolecules, for example. Quanta Magazine, "How Life and Luck Changed Earth’s Minerals," 11 Aug. 2015 Concerned neighbors and Esquire fans took to social media to prod the owners and local media outlets about a reopening date, fearing the permanent closure of the two-screen theater — particularly after a planned spring reopening came and went. John Wenzel, The Denver Post, "Esquire Theatre sets mid-June reopening date after six-month closure," 6 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Though the title character’s writing is presented as incendiary, Onah’s film is more of a series of teasing prods, one that seeks to challenge the audience but shies away from shocking them. David Sims, The Atlantic, "A Flawed Thriller About the Myth of the ‘Model Immigrant’," 5 Aug. 2019 These genetically wild animals, by instinct wired to hunt and roam over great distances, may live in small enclosures except when performing for clients’ cameras, coaxed with treats and prods by a handler just out of the frame. National Geographic, "Is the food appropriate and safely provided?," 31 July 2019 Chad Wright, a nuisance wildlife trapper with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, used a long prod to press a balloon against Amos' teeth a few times before their pet spilled the secret. Tiffini Theisen,, "Florida couple uses pet alligator for gender reveal for family’s 10th child," 12 June 2019 The Trump King Kong act, with the media as ringmaster and prod, has kept millions of frenzied Democratic voters screaming like Fay Wray for 22 months. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "A Referendum on Trump," 31 Oct. 2018 In each of the videos, Kim prods and pokes, trying to coerce each sister into flattering words about her weight. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Kardashian’s sisters said she looked anorexic. She took it as a compliment.," 3 Aug. 2018 The groups claim workers use electric prods and sharp sticks to agitate the bulls before releasing them for the race. Marina Pitofsky, USA TODAY, "Running of the bulls faces backlash from women and animal rights groups," 6 July 2018 The person seeking recovery who seems to come in with the best possible attitude versus the person who comes in looking beyond hopeless prods the viewer to make a distinction that is ultimately false. Glenn Kenny, New York Times, "3 Sobering Documentaries on Netflix, Fandor and Field of Vision," 5 July 2018 During the event, caught on film, a living dolphin circles and prods a smaller dead female, while emitting clicks. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Study Suggests Dolphins and Some Whales Grieve Their Dead," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prod.' 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 prod


1535, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun (1)

1676, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1837, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for prod


origin unknown

Noun (2)

by shortening & alteration

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prod

Statistics for prod

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prod

The first known use of prod was in 1535

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for prod



English Language Learners Definition of prod

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to push someone or something with your finger or a pointed object
: to persuade or try to persuade (someone) to do something



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

: the act of pushing someone or something with your finger or a pointed object
: something (such as a long stick) that is used to prod an animal
: something said or done to encourage or remind someone to do something


\ ˈpräd How to pronounce prod (audio) \
prodded; prodding

Kids Definition of prod

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to poke with something He prodded the dog with his foot.
2 : to stir or encourage a person or animal to action She was prodded into joining the team.



Kids Definition of prod (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something used for stirring an animal to action a cattle prod
2 : an act of poking
3 : a sharp urging or reminder

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on prod

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prod

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prod

Spanish Central: Translation of prod

Nglish: Translation of prod for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prod for Arabic Speakers

Comments on prod

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


a haphazard or makeshift solution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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