\ ˈräd How to pronounce rod (audio) \

Definition of rod

1a(1) : a straight slender stick growing on or cut from a tree or bush
(2) : osier
(3) : a stick or bundle of twigs used to punish also : punishment
(4) : a shepherd's cudgel
(5) : a pole with a line and usually a reel attached for fishing
b(1) : a slender bar (as of wood or metal)
(2) : a bar or staff for measuring
(3) : scepter also : a wand or staff carried as a badge of office (as of marshal)
2a : a unit of length — see Weights and Measures Table
b : a square rod
3 : any of the long rod-shaped photosensitive receptors in the retina responsive to faint light — compare cone sense 3a
4 : a rod-shaped bacterium
5 slang : handgun

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Other Words from rod

rodless \ ˈräd-​ləs How to pronounce rodless (audio) \ adjective
rodlike \ ˈräd-​ˌlīk How to pronounce rodlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of rod in a Sentence

arrested for using a rod on his dogs in violation of the state's animal cruelty laws
Recent Examples on the Web Details for upland birds and waterfowl are found at: Note: Check online for sight-in opportunities at local rod and gun clubs. oregonlive, "Oregon hunting preview 2020: What to know about wildfire damage, plus outlooks for big game, upland birds, waterfowl," 25 Sep. 2020 These brackets must also be attached to the roof securely enough to support a mounting rod and a large topper. Michael Pollick,, "The best weathervane," 19 Sep. 2020 Lavon Nowling, of Santa Rosa County, caught the giant fish on Aug. 26 while fishing with a rod and reel and live bait on the Yellow River, which runs from Pensacola Bay in the Florida Panhandle and north into Alabama. Brett Clarkson,, "Florida fisherman reels in a 69-pound flathead catfish, the biggest ever caught in the state," 1 Sep. 2020 One item on the Lang's wish list is a reel and rod set from 1876 inlaid with gold and topaz; if found, it's expected to sell for more than $100,000. Ezra Marcus New York Times, Star Tribune, "Antique fishing gear is latest hot 'mantique'," 25 Aug. 2020 Valastro's sons helped cut through the metal rod to release Valastro, the rep added. Sandra Gonzalez, CNN, "'Cake Boss' star Buddy Valastro recovering from 'terrible' at-home accident," 23 Sep. 2020 Balmoral is blessed with some of the finest salmon fishing in Scotland; the Queen Mother famously cast her rod in the nearby river Muick, and now the public is being reeled in too with the offer of fishing in the same spot for $150 a day. David Mcclure, Town & Country, "The High Cost of Queen Elizabeth’s Country Homes," 19 Sep. 2020 Evans said sure and handed him his rod with the fish still attached. Monte Burke, Field & Stream, "Madness, Obsession, and the Hunt for the World-Record Tarpon," 27 Aug. 2020 MIller says this durable, affordable beginner rod is his favorite. Lesley Kennedy, CNN Underscored, "The best fishing rods and poles, according to experts," 11 Aug. 2020

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for rod

Middle English, from Old English rodd; akin to Old Norse rudda club

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Time Traveler for rod

Time Traveler

The first known use of rod was before the 12th century

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Statistics for rod

Last Updated

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rod.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for rod


How to pronounce rod (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rod

: a straight, thin stick or bar
: a pole with a line and usually a reel that is used in fishing
old-fashioned : a stick used to hit or whip someone as a form of punishment


\ ˈräd How to pronounce rod (audio) \

Kids Definition of rod

1 : a light flexible pole often with line and a reel attached used in fishing
2 : a stick or bundle of twigs used in whipping a person
3 : a straight slender stick or bar
4 : a measure of length equal to 16¹/₂ feet (about 5 meters)
5 : a cell of the retina of the eye that is shaped like a rod and is sensitive to faint light


\ ˈräd How to pronounce rod (audio) \

Medical Definition of rod

1 : a straight slender pole or bar
2 : any of the long rod-shaped photosensitive receptors in the retina responsive to faint light — compare cone sense 2a
3 : a bacterium shaped like a rod

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