wad

1 of 2

noun

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)
3
a
: a roll of paper money
b
: money

wad

2 of 2

verb

wadded; wadding

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
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 she wadded up the paper and threw it in the wastebasket
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
At a time when many businesses only accept electronic payments and many people never carry cash, Wade made a mess of explaining why Willis was handing over wads of untraceable dollars. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2024 Sure, there are moments of extreme glitz—of private jets, Carbone, and thick wads of cash—but there are also stories set in psychiatric hospitals and BDSM basements. Daniel Rodgers, Glamour, 2 Jan. 2024 You may be offered a hefty wad of rewards points as an incentive to keep the account open. Liz Weston, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Jan. 2024 Madonna turned that measly wad of green into all of this. Chris Richards, Washington Post, 19 Dec. 2023 December 15, 2023 An insouciant girl named Violet sticks a wad of gum in her mouth. Mayukh Sen, Bon Appétit, 15 Dec. 2023 Gemini seemingly recognizes images quickly — even for connect-the-dots pictures — responds within seconds, and tracks a wad of paper in a cup and ball game in real-time. Emilia David, The Verge, 7 Dec. 2023 As the younger actor laughed and pretended to get up off the show's couch, Hanks pulled a wad of cash out of his pocket, pretending to prepare to give some money to Chalamet, causing all four of the stars and host Norton to laugh uproariously. Jenny Haward, Peoplemag, 3 Dec. 2023 Don’t flash wads of cash or jewelry, stay away from drugs and drug dealers and don’t get drunk. Nicole Sours Larson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Dec. 2023
Verb
Winter dutifully wrote everything down, hung up the phone, and handed the paper to Chase — who promptly wadded it up into a ball and threw it in the trash, unread. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 3 Jan. 2024 On some trips, the boys would convince Dad to play football, wadding up a sock to serve as their pigskin. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, 6 Aug. 2023 Just a ball and, in a pinch, wadded up socks or paper will do. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, 18 July 2023 Glass had webbed on the mirror and wadded paper towels were scattered on the wet floor around the sink. Hazlitt, 14 June 2023 Using a grill brush, thoroughly scrape the grill grate clean and oil it (wad up paper towels, dip them briefly in vegetable oil, then use tongs to rub the grill grate with them). Dallas News, 1 June 2021 Squib loads, or loads with insufficient or no powder to drive the bullet, shot or wad out of the barrel, create an obstruction. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Mar. 2021 Squeeze as much water out of the quilt as possible, being careful not to wad, wring or bunch the quilt with your hands. oregonlive, 15 Oct. 2020 Step 1: Make a tinder bundle by stripping a 10-inch length of duct tape into thin 1⁄16-inch strips, and wad these very loosely into a softball-​size nest. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, 9 Jan. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wad.' 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

Noun

Middle English wadde, from Medieval Latin wadda

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near wad

Cite this Entry

“Wad.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wad. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

wad

1 of 2 noun
1
: a small mass, bundle, or tuft
a wad of cotton
2
: a soft pad or plug used to hold a powder charge in a gun or cartridge
3
a
: a roll of paper money
b
: a large amount (as of money)
spent a wad on clothes

wad

2 of 2 verb
wadded; wadding
1
: to form into a wad or wadding
wad up a handkerchief
2
: to stuff or line with soft material

More from Merriam-Webster on wad

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!