ram·​rod | \ ˈram-ˌräd How to pronounce ramrod (audio) \

Definition of ramrod

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : a rod for ramming home the charge in a muzzle-loading firearm
2 : a cleaning rod for small arms
3 : boss, overseer



Definition of ramrod (Entry 2 of 4)

: marked by rigidity, severity, or stiffness


ramrodded; ramrodding; ramrods

Definition of ramrod (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to force with a ramrod ramrodded the charge into the muzzle often used figuratively He refused to be ramrodded into his decision.… a self-made millionaire and visionary entrepreneur who as the fair's chairman ramrodded the project through from conception to completion.— Joyce LevitonThey tried to ramrod the bill through the legislature.
2 : to direct, supervise, and control … the police sergeant chosen by Dick Snider to ramrod his fledgling Border Crime Task Force.— Joseph Wambaugh



Definition of ramrod (Entry 4 of 4)

: in a fully upright position : rigidly sat ramrod straight

Synonyms & Antonyms for ramrod

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of ramrod in a Sentence

Adjective a ramrod camp director who's been known to send kids home for a minor infraction of the rules
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When not feeding, many inchworms disguise themselves like leaf stems or twigs by standing on their hind legs ramrod-straight and freezing like a living statue performer. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 21 July 2022 Tall, graying and standing ramrod straight, Franken's approach is understated. Thomas Beaumont, ajc, 14 May 2022 DeRuntz poured gunpowder down the shaft, stuffing it down with a metal ramrod. Carole Carlson, chicagotribune.com, 28 Sep. 2021 Stankey stands at 6-foot-5, and has a booming voice and the ramrod-straight posture of a military leader. Variety, 9 Apr. 2022 Her posture gradually goes from ramrod-straight to slightly slumped. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 7 Apr. 2022 An aloof, ramrod-straight Chun during his mid-1990s trial defended the coup as necessary to save the nation from a political crisis and denied sending troops into Gwangju. Reuters, CNN, 23 Nov. 2021 To his admirers, Gen. Singlaub was the consummate warrior — a brawny, ramrod-straight man of action with the wounds and decorations to prove the truth of the lore that surrounded him. Washington Post, 31 Jan. 2022 An aloof, ramrod-straight Chun during his mid-1990s trial defended the coup as necessary to save the nation from a political crisis and denied sending troops into Gwangju. Reuters, CNN, 23 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Nine months later, the parish's electric lines have been replaced by ramrod straight poles. Rebecca Santana, ajc, 30 May 2021 He was beloved by the British for his no-nonsense air, his ramrod straight Navy-man's posture, and his blunt words laced with a certain old-school humor at events public and private. Guy Martin, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Into the Great Unknown, then, goes Donald H. Rumsfeld, who died Tuesday at 88, and whose tenure as George W. Bush’s defense secretary was a monument to both ramrod certainty and tactical equivocation, the twin dogmas of Washington. Washington Post, 1 July 2021 Biles sprinted down the runway, did a roundoff onto the springboard followed by a back handspring onto the vault, finishing with two backflips with her legs ramrod straight and her hands seemingly magnetized to her hamstrings. Arkansas Online, 23 May 2021 His physical appearance, ramrod straight with piercing eyes, thinning hair, and a voluminous mustache, only added to his appeal for admirers. Philip Terzian, Washington Examiner, 1 Apr. 2021 Yeager may be in a dogfight with Father Time, but his bearing is still ramrod straight. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, 9 Dec. 2020 Christians and pro-democracy supporters are worried the Chinese government could make another attempt to ramrod legislation in Hong Kong that would specifically target the faith community and strip basic human rights. Fox News, 17 Sep. 2019 As the state-of-the-art hydraulics move her into position, her posture shifts from millennial slump to ramrod straight. TIME.com, 30 June 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ramrod.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ramrod


1706, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1850, in the meaning defined above


1912, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1954, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About ramrod

Dictionary Entries Near ramrod

ram rocket


ramrod straight

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Statistics for ramrod

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ramrod.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ramrod. Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for ramrod


ram·​rod | \ ˈram-ˌräd How to pronounce ramrod (audio) \

Kids Definition of ramrod

: a rod for forcing the charge down the barrel in a firearm that is loaded through the muzzle

More from Merriam-Webster on ramrod

Nglish: Translation of ramrod for Spanish Speakers


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