1 of 4


prodded; prodding

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to urge someone on
prodder noun


2 of 4

noun (1)

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


3 of 4



4 of 4

noun (2)

chiefly Ireland, often disparaging + offensive

Examples of prod in a Sentence

Verb 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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Most lawmakers, frankly, aren’t terribly interested in prodding the ranchers, who are an incredibly sophisticated lobby with strong sympathy among voters. Philip Elliott, TIME, 3 June 2024 Waldeck-Rousseau was able to forge a compromise because political leaders were willing to put aside differences for the greater good and prod the populace to do the same. Maurice Samuels / Made By History, TIME, 21 May 2024
The new mileage standards announced by the Transportation Department are among several regulations the administration is using to prod carmakers to produce more electric vehicles. Coral Davenport, New York Times, 7 June 2024 Meredith Shea, the academy’s chief membership, impact and industry officer, said the inclusion standards were always intended to be more of a prod, less of an edict. Brooks Barnes, New York Times, 8 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for prod 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prod.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



origin unknown

Noun (2)

by shortening & alteration

First Known Use


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

Time Traveler
The first known use of prod was in 1535

Dictionary Entries Near prod

Cite this Entry

“Prod.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
prodded; prodding
: to poke with something
: to stir a person or animal to action
kept prodding me to reveal the secret
prodder noun


2 of 2 noun
: something used for prodding
: an act of prodding : a sharp urging or reminder

More from Merriam-Webster on prod

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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