1
a(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)
2
a
: 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
rodless adjective
rodlike 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 They are stored inside their original case, alongside a powder horn and tamping rods. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 July 2024 Use your rod—not your muscle—to lift the bass straight up to the surface, Siefert says. Ben Duchesney, Field & Stream, 3 July 2024 The wood is highly prized for its durability and elasticity, used to create numerous items like tool handles and fishing rods. Vicky Yip, Parents, 2 July 2024 And what health care issues may be lightening rods in this election? Meghana Keshavan, STAT, 28 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for rod 

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near rod

Cite this Entry

“Rod.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rod. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

rod

noun
1
a
: a straight slender stick or bar
b
: a stick or bundle of twigs used in whipping a person
c
: a pole with a line and usually a reel attached for fishing
2
a
: a unit of length see measure
b
: a square rod
3
: any of the cells in the retina that are shaped like rods and respond to dim light
4
slang : handgun
rodless adjective
rodlike adjective

Medical Definition

rod

noun
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

More from Merriam-Webster on rod

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