\ 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 But the mutation causes hemoglobin to aggregate into rock-hard rods that give cells a sickle shape. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, "A new sickle cell drug could soon get U.S. approval. But does it work?," 17 Sep. 2019 As the night wore on, there were reports of pro-government gangs armed with rods beating protesters in eastern districts of Hong Kong Island. Time Staff, Time, "Violence Flares as Protesters Defy a Police Ban to March Through Hong Kong's Streets," 15 Sep. 2019 Nearby, a plastic bar, carved as a lattice to shrink its weight, stretched across the ceiling, demonstrating how a 3D printer might eventually crank out rods for massive solar panels. Wired, "The Best Place to Make Undersea Cables Might Be ... in Space," 11 Sep. 2019 Close to 1,000 protesters have been arrested, including some of the city’s most high-profile young activists, while there have been hardly any arrests in relation to the attacks by rod-yielding thugs. Ilaria Maria Sala, Quartz, "Hong Kong is having flashbacks to the bad old days of police corruption and mafia ties," 1 Sep. 2019 Over time, Shiebler’s love of fishing hatched relationships with iconic rod maker Gary Loomis, executives at Shimano, sunglasses makers and more. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: SoCal sportfishing industry pulls for musician, model, author, animal lover Gary Shiebler," 9 Aug. 2019 Get our daily newsletter One was an outbreak of thuggery in a suburb called Yuen Long, in which 100 men in white shirts, armed with canes and rods, attacked passengers at a railway station, many of them returning from the march downtown. The Economist, "Hong Kong’s violent protests against Chinese rule," 25 July 2019 Soon, my toy takes shape, as Harry uses a drill to cut holes in each piece and inserts stretchable rods to hold them in place. Rachel Berry,, "Happen's Toy Lab brings a sense of child-like creativity for all ages," 23 July 2019 Prep the boat, remove tie-down straps, put the plug in the transom drain, load rod and tackle and coolers and such so that all that time in the ramp is minimized and the next person can put in or take out. Shannon Tompkins,, "On the water, be safe and be nice, too," 20 July 2019

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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Statistics for rod

Last Updated

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for rod

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on rod

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rod

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rod

Spanish Central: Translation of rod

Nglish: Translation of rod for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rod for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about rod

Comments on rod

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a calculated move

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