\ 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

Retaliation any greater than a token strike (think Syria 2016) would prod the nuclear deal -- the JCPOA -- another step closer to collapsing, 16 months after Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement. Tim Lister, CNN, "After the Saudi oil attacks, all options carry great risk," 16 Sep. 2019 California’s congressionally granted authority to set its own, tougher emissions standards under the 1970 Clean Air Act has long prodded automakers to adopt more fuel-efficient passenger vehicles. Tom Krisher,, "Trump challenges California power to control auto pollution," 7 Sep. 2019 The mainstream media does not simply report on the politics of the Democratic Party but instead help lead it and prod along its top policy platforms, according to radio host Mark Levin. Fox News, "Mark Levin: Mainstream media doesn't 'follow' the Democratic Party, they 'lead' it," 6 Sep. 2019 California's congressionally granted authority to set its own, tougher emissions standards under the 1970 Clean Air Act has long prodded automakers to adopt more fuel-efficient passenger vehicles. Tom Krisher, Fortune, "Trump Takes on California Mileage Standards on the Road to Nationwide Rollback of Obama-Era Rules," 6 Sep. 2019 Gray is prodding at something just as Roy McBride is, scratching at the howl of the universe to see what’s making the noise. Rachel Yang,, "First Ad Astra reviews say Brad Pitt shines in thoughtful, slightly familiar movie," 29 Aug. 2019 Since BlueKeep was publicly announced on May 14, the security industry has prodded users to patch with mixed results: As of a count last month somewhere between 730,000 and 800,000 computers remained vulnerable to BlueKeep. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, "DejaBlue: New BlueKeep-Style Bugs Mean You Need to Update Windows Now," 13 Aug. 2019 The city is prodding people toward more reusable food- and drink-ware, as part of an effort to slash waste and green the economy. Elena Shao,, "Don’t throw away that cup! S.F. pushes reusables, but it won’t be easy," 4 Aug. 2019 Ultimately, the patent uncertainty created by the new interference declaration may prod UC and Broad to cut a deal. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Surprise patent ruling revives high-stakes dispute over the genome editor CRISPR," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His book is, in this way, a prod toward the study of the humanities—toward history, literature, philosophy, religion—the very subjects that have dimmed next to the bright light of the screen. Gal Beckerman, The New Republic, "Don’t Blame Phones for Narcissism," 7 May 2018 This emphasizes not just Leonardo’s relation to his teacher but also Verrocchio’s broader role as an instigator and general prod to the creative energies of late-15th-century Florence. Washington Post, "The first major U.S. show devoted to the artist who helped forge Leonardo da Vinci’s genius," 12 Sep. 2019 Alex Kraus—Bloomberg via Getty Images In China, the company now faces another regulatory prod backing it into the electric-car corner. Fortune, "Electric Car Gold Rush: The Auto Industry Charges Into China," 20 Aug. 2019 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

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

7 Oct 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).


involving a confidence or trust

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Word Puzzles

  • alt 57589b2b4c6a3
  • Which answer pairs best with each of the following words? living, estate, club, music, road, mile
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!