\ 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

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Other Words from prod


prodder noun

Synonyms for prod

Synonyms: Verb

dig, goad, spur

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Epstein’s urgent plea helped prod the Cubs to first place and a 31-24 record through May. What followed was a middling summer that produced as many questions as answers. David Haugh,, "Column: Cubs look closer to being dismantled in the offseason than they are to playing in the World Series," 26 Aug. 2019 Trump’s persistent criticism of the Fed and Powell already has raised questions about whether his campaign actually has helped prod the central bank to cut rates despite a solid economy. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Trump is pushing the Fed for a big rate cut. But would it help or hurt the economy?," 20 Aug. 2019 While a compelling character, Marcia fits into the story a bit awkwardly, prodding Sakina to action to thwart Paul but herself hanging back and gently nudging, like a kind of Jiminy Cricket. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: Corporate satire by Carey Perloff hits most of its marks at SF Playhouse," 21 June 2019 China’s leadership was instrumental in tightening sanctions and prodding Mr. Kim to the negotiating table last year. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "North Korea and China Project Unity in Face of Stalled Nuclear Talks With U.S.," 10 Jan. 2019 When the president was assassinated in 1963, Goodwin took on a sensitive task — prodding the military to act upon Jacqueline Kennedy's wishes and place an eternal flame at the national cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. NBC News, "Richard Goodwin, White House speech writer and husband of Doris Kearns Goodwin, dead at 86," 21 May 2018 The result has been a near-daily campaign to prod companies like Versace, Coach and Givenchy to apologize to China for implying in their products and websites that Hong Kong was a separate country. New York Times, "China Pressures Business Over Hong Kong. Workers Get Caught in the Middle.," 18 Aug. 2019 The Queen, which concerned Elizabeth’s subdued reaction to the death of Princess Diana and the PM’s attempts to prod Elizabeth into a show of mourning. Clark Collis,, "God Save the Queen: The new stars of The Crown open up about the royal gamble of season 3," 14 Aug. 2019 Performance The X7 50i is powered by a delightful engine that emits a deep V-8 rumble when prodded with spirit. Arv Voss, Houston Chronicle, "BMW launches first-ever X7," 23 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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.

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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

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Statistics for prod

Last Updated

23 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prod

The first known use of prod was in 1535

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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

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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

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