\ 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

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Other Words from wade


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

Examples of wade in a Sentence


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As if his gutsy guitar playing and growling vocals weren’t enough, Clearwater loved to wade into the crowd or don his beloved Indian headdress or duck-walk across the stage in homage to his early hero, Chuck Berry. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Eddy Clearwater, 83, dies: An eclectic Chicago bluesman brought a rock vibe to the music," 2 June 2018 In Campbell's neighborhood, Kevin Caudle has donned waders to wade in and check on his house multiple days this week. Alex Derosier And Alan Suderman, Fox News, "Reckoning with loss of homes, livelihoods after Florence," 21 Sep. 2018 Lausch has been careful not to wade into controversial national political issues in his four months as the top federal prosecutor for the Northern District of Illinois. Kim Janssen, chicagotribune.com, "Sessions asks Chicago's top fed to help handle House Clinton probe," 9 Apr. 2018 Uber has been the highest-profile player to wade into the flying taxi market. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The "Mega Skyport" Is a Fanciful Future Landing Spot for Uber’s Flying Taxis," 19 July 2018 Jenna Bush Hager — the daughter of former President George W. Bush — doesn't typically wade into politics. refinery29.com, "Jenna Bush Hager Just Made A Major Statement About Gun Safety," 21 May 2018 Their fight now for market supremacy is being egged on by investors who are more than willing to wade back into the stock market’s riskier, faster-growing corners. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Amazon Takes Market Cap Crown, Cementing Tech Power," 7 Jan. 2019 Jump was still named Social Bicycles, and was about to wade into the e-bike world. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Scooters and e-bikes begin to replace car trips," 24 July 2018 Eventually, the road peters out into the pier and the sea, where boys wade up to their waists, casting lines into the lazy surf. Horatio Clare, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why You Should Go to Belize Now," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

People who live on cream cheese–filled doughnuts, swimming in their sepulcher vans surrounded by garden gnomes, tea wades, and packs of baseball cards with stale sticks of gum from who knows what year. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Living Yard Sale to Yard Sale With My Mother, a Well Dressed Antique Dealer," 30 Aug. 2018 What had started as a frisky romance built of the alluring but classically patronizing male-director/female-star relationship quickly devolves into a jokey wade into a petulant, misanthropic mind. Robert Abele, latimes.com, "'Godard Mon Amour' isn't as smart or funny a sendup as it wants to be," 19 Apr. 2018 After busting out a flurry of impressive shimmies, spins and swings for 25 seconds straight, Zola cools down and goes back to enjoying a relaxing wade in his pool. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "WATCH: Breakdancing Zoo Gorilla Could Star in a Flashdance Reboot Right Now," 23 June 2017 Outlook: Lilleys’ Landing reports: Access limited; trout good on nightcrawlers and pink Power Worms; water too high for normal wade fishing. Bruce Janssen, kansascity.com, "Fishing report for May 4," 3 May 2017

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.

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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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Statistics for wade

Last Updated

15 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wade

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

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More Definitions for wade



English Language Learners Definition of wade

: to walk through water
: to move or proceed with difficulty
: to become involved in a discussion, situation, activity, etc., in a forceful, direct, or careless way


\ 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on wade

Spanish Central: Translation of wade

Nglish: Translation of wade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wade for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wade

What made you want to look up wade? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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