\ ˈwäd How to pronounce wad (audio) \

Definition of wad

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small mass, bundle, or tuft: such as
a : a soft mass especially of a loose fibrous material variously used (as to stop an aperture, pad a garment, or hold grease around an axle)
b(1) : a soft plug used to retain a powder charge or to avoid windage especially in a muzzle-loading gun
(2) : a felt or paper disk used to separate the components of a shotgun cartridge
c : a small mass of a chewing substance a wad of gum
2 : a considerable amount (as of money)
3a : a roll of paper money
b : money


wadded; wadding

Definition of wad (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to insert a wad into wad a gun
b : to hold in by a wad wad a bullet in a gun
2 : to form into a wad or wadding especially : to roll or crush into a tight wad
3 : to stuff or line with some soft substance

Other Words from wad


wadder noun

Examples of wad in a Sentence

Noun He spent a wad on clothes. a starlet who usually gets a big wad of publicity for her nonstop antics Verb disgusted, she wadded up the paper and threw it in the wastebasket
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Following an averaging strategy often is more prudent than putting a wad of cash to work all at once. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, 5 June 2022 Something small but budding, like a wad of paper uncrumpling, sullenly radiant and monochrome—like a sequence out of a silent film. Kent Russell, Harper’s Magazine , 25 May 2022 From a wad of cash to a black panther etc., these handbags are usually made out to resemble everyday objects. Greg Emmanuel, Essence, 4 Apr. 2022 Inside was a bulging wad of photocopies and pages torn from magazines and newspapers — book lists of every kind. Washington Post, 2 Mar. 2022 Some think he must be loaded with money, a wad of cash. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, 29 May 2022 On Thursday, April 21, a man dressed in a maintenance uniform stole a wad of cash and checks from the lobby of the Metropolitan Republican Club while Manhattan politicos rubbed elbows during a speech McCloskey delivered in another room. Fox News, 26 Apr. 2022 Even if a resort promotes a no-tipping policy, a savvy traveler will still take a wad of dollar bills. Washington Post, 20 Apr. 2022 Some patrons grabbed a wad of bills out of their wallets to tip her. Miho Inada, WSJ, 22 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of wad


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for wad


Middle English wadde, from Medieval Latin wadda

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Time Traveler for wad

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The first known use of wad was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

24 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wad.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wad. Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for wad


\ ˈwäd How to pronounce wad (audio) \

Kids Definition of wad

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small mass or lump of soft material a wad of tissues a wad of chewing gum
2 : a thick pile of folded money


wadded; wadding

Kids Definition of wad (Entry 2 of 2)

: to crush or press into a small tight mass

More from Merriam-Webster on wad

Nglish: Translation of wad for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wad for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wad


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