\ ˈwād How to pronounce wade (audio) \
waded; wading

Definition of wade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to step in or through a medium (such as water) offering more resistance than air
2 : to move or proceed with difficulty or labor wade through the crowd wade through all the evidence
3 : to set to work or attack with determination or vigor used with in or into wade into a task

transitive verb

: to pass or cross by wading



Definition of wade (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of wading a wade in the brook

Other Words from wade


wadable or wadeable \ ˈwā-​də-​bəl How to pronounce wade (audio) \ adjective

Examples of wade in a Sentence

Verb We waded into the ocean. I jumped off the boat and waded back to shore. Police waded into the crowd. We waded through the crowded bus station. It took several weeks to wade through all the evidence. We waded our way through the crowd. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Although the beach looks the same, some artificial jetties and a hurricane have filled the bay with sand, so visitors have to wade out quite far to swim. Washington Post, 28 Apr. 2022 Outfielders were expected to wade after balls hit into the water. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Apr. 2022 While the dog tries to wade through the mud, the officer attaches and leash around his neck and hoists the animal up in both arms, successfully freeing him from the mud. Greta Bjornson, PEOPLE.com, 25 Mar. 2022 Many have left their abusers and are trying to rebuild their lives, which requires them to wade through the symptom-triggering paperwork of applying for Medicaid, food stamps, subsidized housing and jobs. New York Times, 1 Mar. 2022 But since so many jobs are formally advertised online, recruiters rely on algorithms to wade through the flood. Arielle Pardes, Wired, 16 Feb. 2022 No hiring manager will want to wade through 10 very long bullet points and 500 words to understand the transferability of your career. Dear Sam | Expert Resume, cleveland, 17 Dec. 2021 The Supreme Court is declining to wade into a lawsuit filed by four New York City public school employees over a policy that they be vaccinated against covid-19. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 19 Apr. 2022 Watson’s new teammates are eager to meet him, but also determined not to wade into his legal issues. cleveland, 24 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Search and rescue crews wade through the thicket, scattered with debris and plane parts. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 22 Mar. 2022 Residents of Sarasota's Black community of Newtown drove en masse to Lido Beach to swim, walk the shores, and wade in the waters. Jessica Poitevien, Travel + Leisure, 20 Feb. 2022 This demonstration introduced wade-ins as another tool of the civil rights movement, and the method would be used on many coastlines after the initial protest. Jessica Poitevien, Travel + Leisure, 20 Feb. 2022 He and the reader wade together through a mysterious cosmos that operates by an unseen metaphysics, observing it and learning its rules. Gregory Barber, Wired, 10 Feb. 2022 The pair wade into what makes an entrapment defense work, weigh the FBI agents' role in the argument, and discuss the government's lingering lessons from the Hutaree matter. Detroit Free Press, 14 Jan. 2022 This same machine can also climb a 45-degree grade and wade through 3 feet of water. Dan Neil, WSJ, 9 Dec. 2021 Gohmert, who previously served as both a judge and lawyer in Texas, has served as a member of the House since 2005, a tenure that has seen the conservative Republican wade into a number of controversies. Devan Cole, CNN, 22 Nov. 2021 That’s why during the Hindu festival of Chhath Puja, many people dip, wade or immerse themselves in its waters. Washington Post, 11 Nov. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of wade


13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1665, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wade


Middle English, from Old English wadan; akin to Old High German watan to go, wade, Latin vadere to go

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The first known use of wade was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wade. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for wade


\ ˈwād How to pronounce wade (audio) \
waded; wading

Kids Definition of wade

1 : to walk through something (as water, snow, or a crowd) that makes it hard to move
2 : to pass or cross by stepping through water We decided to wade the stream.
3 : to proceed with difficulty She's wading through paperwork.

More from Merriam-Webster on wade

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wade

Nglish: Translation of wade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wade for Arabic Speakers


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