Definition of rod in English:



  • 1A thin straight bar, especially of wood or metal:

    ‘concrete walls reinforced with steel rods’
    ‘a curtain rod’
    • ‘Made of cinderblocks reinforced by steel rods, the undulating light-gray walls stretch some 140 feet in length.’
    • ‘Some untitled works from 1999 consist of a series of swags of satin, attached to curtain rods and installed on a wall.’
    • ‘The multidisciplinary, cross-curriculum workshops enable all those who take part to build spectacular structures with the simplest of materials: thin wooden rods and rubber bands.’
    • ‘The white stucco ceiling undulates up to a peak of 22 ft; the walls fan out, and their pale ash panelling is overlaid by ribs of clustered birch rods.’
    • ‘The masonry units require steel post tension rods, anchor bolts, steel plates, and couplers for installation.’
    • ‘The stair is elegantly made, a light filigree of steel rod and plates that contrasts with the heavy mass concrete solidity of the vault.’
    • ‘I then welded a 1-inch piece of solid rod to the metal.’
    • ‘Both sculptures involve single plaster-walled cubes with open tops, out of which spiral successively smaller cubes made from metal rods.’
    • ‘There's also a table with three skinny legs and a lidded jar with a thick, straight, vertical handle that rises up like the rod of a butter churn.’
    • ‘Approximately half of the tubes are filled with thin steel rods, which radiate outward to varying lengths.’
    • ‘These elegantly diminutive, finely wrought sculptures employ curved, flat and linear shapes that perch upon thin metal rods.’
    • ‘In the living room, a chainmail curtain hung from a metal rod is a fireguard for the aluminium clad fireplace.’
    • ‘Here, three metal rods ran across a corner of the gallery, each supporting a large pulley wheel and a piece of canvas strap’
    • ‘The glass box is tethered to the brick walls with suspension rods, which reinforce the two separate structures, helping them to withstand extreme weather conditions and earthquakes.’
    • ‘Set against a blue background, the butterflies are connected to rods and wires that move their wings and simulate flight.’
    • ‘Balusters were made of 90 mm steel rods cast into holes drilled into the rock and connected by steel plates.’
    • ‘Work stopped in 1970, leaving blocked arches in the incomplete north transept, only a few bays of the intended cloister, and reinforcement rods protruding vainly from the stump of the crossing tower.’
    • ‘The bright red fiberglass clasp, tilted at a 45-degree angle, rested on the floor; it connected to the wall by means of a thick steel rod.’
    • ‘Four ‘Freefall Image’ sculptures were made of connected bronze rods with mottled surfaces and polished highlights.’
    • ‘The boulders themselves are kinetic sculptures; all but the heaviest rotates with the slightest touch, balanced atop a single stainless steel rod.’
    bar, stick, pole, baton, staff
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A wand or staff as a symbol of office, authority, or power:
      ‘the royal insignia included the ring, the sceptre, and the rod’
      • ‘She's all about the discipline of the rod and the power of a dollar.’
      • ‘There were also numerous pictures of Cadere, youthful and earnest, a modern shaman with rod in hand.’
      • ‘Chiron raises two fingers in the standard antique gesture of a teacher while holding a rod in his other hand.’
      staff, wand, mace, sceptre
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A slender straight stick or shoot growing on or cut from a tree or bush:
      ‘the roof is formed of willow and hazel rods woven between willow rafters’
    3. 1.3 A stick used for caning or flogging:
      ‘he swung the rod again in a threatening arc’
      • ‘I say relatively, because all too frequently you've broken the very rules you vow to uphold, particularly through your selective choice and editing of sequences of material which you then employ as a rod with which to beat us, and others.’
    4. 1.4the rod The use of a stick as punishment:
      ‘if you'd been my daughter, you'd have felt the rod’
      corporal punishment, the cane, the lash, the birch, the belt, the strap
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5vulgar slang A man's penis.
  • 2A fishing rod:

    ‘he hooked an enormous fish which almost pulled the rod from out of his hands’
    ‘the largest carp ever caught on rod and line in Britain’
    • ‘I come to the river rod in hand, neither saint nor renegade.’
    • ‘Over the past fifty years I have used dozens of fly fishing rods.’
    • ‘I quickly followed, setting up my 10 ft 6in cane float rod with a centre pin reel.’
    • ‘I therefore normally use a soft action float rod with a reel loaded with about 3lb b.s. line.’
    • ‘I find a 12 ft rod with a fast taper and 2.75 lb test curve just right.’
    • ‘Sorry, but you have to leave the fly fishing rods at home.’
    • ‘He is shown with a huge carp and a rod for fishing.’
    1. 2.1 An angler:
      ‘over a hundred rods turned out for the day, including some famous names’
  • 3British historical

    another term for perch
    1. 3.1
      another term for perch
  • 4US informal A pistol or revolver.

  • 5Anatomy
    A light-sensitive cell of one of the two types present in large numbers in the retina of the eye, responsible mainly for monochrome vision in poor light.

    Compare with cone
    • ‘Messing with our rods and cones, Downing's saturated dots stick around perceptually in afterimages.’
    • ‘Be warned, if you sit too close to the screen, the TV may do permanent damage to your rods and cones.’


  • kiss the rod

    • Accept punishment submissively.

      • ‘So now I hope you are properly scolded, and having kissed the rod, like a good disciple, are taking seriously to your task.’
      • ‘Though physically robust, he never rebelled against his superiors, and kissed the rod of contempt with the exemplary meekness of a Christian.’
      • ‘You will thank me and kiss the rod.’
      • ‘Better on this occasion to kiss the rod than try to dodge the issue.’
      • ‘If you are unable to believe in this exclusive, tyrannous god, to bend the knee and kiss the rod - you'll burn in hell for all eternity.’
      • ‘But he soon perceived that, if the people were oppressed, they kissed the rod of the oppressor, as they gave no signs of rising.’
      • ‘It is a source of satisfaction that she has not shut her eyes to the prime cause of these dispensations - that she has seen and kissed the rod in the hands of the Almighty.’
      • ‘I have reason to speak much of His goodness, and to kiss the rod, for it was sweetened with abundant mercies.’
      • ‘If you have - go - retire into silent obscurity, and kiss the rod that scourges you.’
      • ‘Thus rebuffed, he kissed the rod to the extent of asking the Committee what sort of proposal it would endorse.’
  • make a rod for one's own back

    • Do something likely to cause difficulties for oneself later.

      • ‘I wouldn't define it that way because of the pejoratives loaded around it; that would be making a rod for your own back.’
      • ‘The FA have made a rod for their own back with this decision, which could now make the game almost impossible to govern.’
      • ‘But he made a rod for his own back in staying quiet.’
      • ‘He has said that he would describe himself as a Stalinist if it was not ‘making a rod for my own back’.’
      • ‘I think I might have let those expectations get on top of me a little and I've probably made a rod for my own back.’
      • ‘So, what I'm saying here is that by going along with this at all you've made a rod for your own back.’
      • ‘He has perhaps made a rod for his own back with his statement that the ‘thousands of youngsters who take part in other sports… need our support and they are going to get it.’’
      • ‘You don't make a rod for your own back when you manage a club like Rangers.’
      • ‘Before I started it, people said, ‘You're making a rod for your own back with that lot,’ but as a group they were the best people I'd ever worked with.’
      • ‘The manager has probably also made a rod for his own back over his handling of the goalkeeping position.’
  • rule with a rod of iron

    • Control or govern very strictly or harshly:

      ‘she ruled their lives with a rod of iron’
      • ‘I learned through gossip that she ruled her family with a rod of iron and she controlled the purse strings to her fortune.’
      • ‘She thought it was pathetic; he was already ruling the class with a rod of iron.’
      • ‘His job is to strike down the nations, ruling them with a rod of iron.’
      • ‘As the hospital counterpart of the mistress of the household, she might rule her own domain with a rod of iron, but always deferred to father.’
      • ‘The prosecution claims that he was a father of very strong tradition who ruled his home with a rod of iron.’
      • ‘A good overcoat roller in a company need never thirst, in fact he could, if he liked, rule his comrades with a rod of iron.’
      • ‘Smith ruled his men with a rod of iron, and as long as he was alive Hepple was safe.’
      • ‘He led the country to its independence from France in 1960 and then ruled the country with a rod of iron until his death in 1993.’
      • ‘For now, the man who has ruled the country with a rod of iron for more than three decades can sleep relatively soundly.’
      • ‘What was not spelt out, was the importance of another Scots tradition, the ‘dominie’, or head teacher, who formed the ethos of the school and usually ruled it with a rod of iron.’
  • spare the rod and spoil the child

    • proverb If children are not physically punished when they do wrong their personal development will suffer.

      • ‘He was a man of his time, when the philosophy was ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ - very different from today.’
      • ‘On Education Watch I note an argument in favour of ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’’
      • ‘You see, being traditional Chinese, my parents believed in the notion ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’.’
      • ‘Writing in a pre-indulgent age when ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ was a cherished maxim of proper parenting, she stated firmly that ‘… children should be provided with proper tools.’’
      • ‘He has evidence that ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ is still right for some kids today.’
      • ‘I am of 1920s vintage and in those days it was spare the rod and spoil the child and children should be seen and not heard.’
      • ‘If one partner believes in the old adage ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ while the other parent prefers to reason with children when they misbehave there is likely to be conflict.’
    • proverb

      see rod


Late Old English rodd ‘slender shoot growing on or cut from a tree’, also ‘straight stick or bundle of twigs used to inflict punishment’; probably related to Old Norse rudda club.