\ ˈspəd How to pronounce spud (audio) \
spudded; spudding

Definition of spud

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to dig with a spud
2 : to begin to drill (an oil well)

intransitive verb

: to use a spud



Definition of spud (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a tool or device (as for digging, lifting, or cutting) having the characteristics of a spade and a chisel

Examples of spud in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When the ice is thicker than four to five inches, nobody wants to keep spudding or drilling new holes every time the fish move on. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Great Gift Ideas for Ice Fishing Dads," 22 Nov. 2019 The old days of spudding a hole in a foot of ice and huddling and freezing over it for hours on an upturned five-gallon pail are just that—the old days. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Great Gift Ideas for Ice Fishing Dads," 22 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To do so requires either spud or an auger, a large drill powered by hand or by a small motor. John Perritano, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Started in Ice Fishing," 22 Dec. 2020 The spuds crisis doesn’t end there; in Idaho, mountains of potatoes are rotting. David Meyer, Fortune, "Fearing wine lakes and rotten potato heaps, Europe’s farmers demand a coronavirus rescue package," 30 Apr. 2020 Roast chicken is another winter favorite—roast it on a bed of potatoes and the spuds will absorb all the delicious juices. Saveur, "Perfect Potato Recipes," 15 Sep. 2015 Hit with a significant early frost from Oct. 9 to 11, Idaho had already harvested 85 percent of this year’s crop, the spuds safely in storage and out of harm’s way. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, "As storms wreak havoc on potato harvest, shortages and price hikes could follow," 4 Dec. 2019 The ultimate spuds Potatoes are a huge part of the Thanksgiving menu. oregonlive, "Don’t panic! We’ve got every Thanksgiving recipe you need for the big meal," 25 Nov. 2019 Grab a copy of one of these page-turners and start living the life of the erudite sofa spud. Wired Staff, Wired, "12 Science Books You Should Read Right Now," 23 Dec. 2019 This snack is at particular risk because French fry makers typically favor large potatoes, and failing harvests have meant that spuds are smaller this year. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Poor Potato Crops Could Lead to a North American French Fry Shortage," 4 Dec. 2019 The potatoes that did manage to survive the bad weather were significantly smaller, which is problematic for french fries specifically because chefs tend to go with longer spuds to create the popular crispy matchsticks. Mary Honkus, PEOPLE.com, "A French Fry Shortage May Be Coming to the U.S. After Poor Potato Growing Season," 3 Dec. 2019

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


1652, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spud


Middle English spudde dagger

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Statistics for spud

Cite this Entry

“Spud.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spud. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for spud


\ ˈspəd How to pronounce spud (audio) \

Medical Definition of spud

: any of various small surgical instruments with a shape resembling that of a spade use of a spud to remove a foreign object from the eye

More from Merriam-Webster on spud

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spud

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