Definition of prod in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Poke (someone) with a finger, foot, or pointed object.

    ‘he prodded her in the ribs to stop her snoring’
    no object ‘a woman prods at a tiger with a stick’
    • ‘Not created in some lab with a bunch of doctors and scientists poking and prodding them with instruments.’
    • ‘I have to go to the doctor tomorrow to get prodded and poked in a variety of places I prefer not to be prodded and poked in.’
    • ‘Wind picks at a stray lace; I uncoil a hand from jacket cuff, poke out a finger and prod the lace back beside ankle under my foot, moving my foot slightly to make it stay in.’
    • ‘She lifted her helmet from over her eyes and saw him kneeling down by the door, frowning as he prodded at the remains of his coat.’
    • ‘But Dobinson's finger delicately prods the ancient Cellophane that's kept everything neatly in place since the late 1950s.’
    • ‘Margaret prodded at her face, making sure she was clear of any form of blemishes.’
    • ‘After mixing the drink, she turned around and prodded Daryl with her finger.’
    • ‘Olivia poked and prodded at me for a few minutes as she tried to make sure that she knew what to fix and what to leave.’
    • ‘I conceded that it was indeed made of rubber, as was I, as he poked and prodded my palm.’
    • ‘I didn't want to go back to this dreaded school where I felt like I was in a cage and being prodded at with a hot iron stick.’
    • ‘Dale prodded at a ticklish spot on Tiffany's stomach with his fingers, which made her giggle.’
    • ‘His fingers ghosted across my stomach and tenderly prodded at my side.’
    • ‘Kirik sat beside the hearth and prodded at the embers with an iron rod.’
    • ‘Nichara made a grim expression and drew her cloak more tightly about herself and prodded at her cheeks with quivering fingers.’
    • ‘She hated being fitted since she usually was prodded and poked by malicious pins.’
    • ‘His whole body seems to awake as if a finger has prodded nerve spots of his nostalgia.’
    • ‘I poked and prodded at these sites in hopes to locate some remaining muscle tissue, but very little was found.’
    • ‘Indeed, if blame had to be apportioned for the tedious first half offering then the finger need only be pointed then prodded at Exeter.’
    • ‘Landon had several men poking and prodding his bare chest as he sat on the bed table in nothing but his breezers.’
    • ‘She prodded at my hair for a moment or so and then, began to wash it.’
    poke, jab, dig, nudge, elbow, butt, push, stab
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Stimulate or persuade (someone who is reluctant or slow) to do something.
      ‘he has been trying to prod the White House into launching an antipoverty program’
      • ‘So it is imperative for all of us, in one way or another, to prod and encourage both partners to sit down.’
      • ‘Perhaps this is what prompted Veblen's letter to prod Moore into dropping the matter and finalizing his dissertation for publication.’
      • ‘Sluggish hair cells can be prodded into activity by various treatments but none is perfect.’
      • ‘You don't doubt that he's partly motivated by lucre, since he often prods his clients to gamble on hitting the jackpot by opting for a jury trial rather than a settlement offer.’
      • ‘Then we would prod him with a question or encourage him with praise until slowly, piece by piece, the dream took shape for us.’
      • ‘James was about to prod Savage into moving, but the assassin was already heading towards the center of the courtyard as if he had accepted his own fate.’
      • ‘At the same time, I'm prodding the actors and encouraging them to dig down inside themselves.’
      • ‘It's very hard for them to move into that area now and try to assert authority and so the pressure is coming by this disclosure to try to prod the Pakistani military into moving in there.’
      • ‘The main caveat here is to refrain from using hypnosis to prod a reluctant client/patient into this type of therapy.’
      • ‘I resisted the urge to prod a response from her but, shortly after I snapped the light off, a heavy thump came at the foot of the bed and she snuggled up against my feet.’
      • ‘Following some gentle prodding from Simon, I've added another section to the sidebar.’
      • ‘It is the stimulation of the needs of others that prods their imagination.’
      • ‘I've done what I could, which obviously is not much, to prod the country to move on the drug war.’
      • ‘Simultaneously, his urge to challenge the limits prodded him to attempt breaking world records.’
      • ‘That could cost them, along with Chrysler, more market share and prod them to move more of their own production offshore.’
      • ‘You offer lively, informative, interesting, and, yes, controversial articles that stir the soul and prod the mind.’
      • ‘Nobody was in a hurry and none was seen prodding the organisers to get on with the item.’
      • ‘That is their prime motivation in prodding the US into a resumption of a deal.’
      • ‘They advise and prod Orestes, Pylades, and Electra along, urging them to seek out revenge for Agamemnon's death.’
      • ‘The August 28, 1963 March on Washington was planned to prod a reluctant Congress to enact a comprehensive civil rights bill.’
      spur, stimulate, stir, rouse, prompt, drive, push, galvanize, move, motivate, encourage, persuade, urge, chivvy, impel, actuate
      View synonyms


  • 1A poke with a finger, foot, or pointed object.

    ‘he gave the wire netting an experimental prod’
    • ‘Feeling much different, lighter, you could say, Kirwin kept up the brisk pace commanded by the prods of the guards' spears.’
    • ‘A freshly-prepared, dark mint chocolate souffle deflates wonderfully with the first prod from my partner, lusciously paired with bountiful coconut ice cream encased in a fortune cookie.’
    • ‘Which gave rise to much discussion and many prods of the hat pin into various maps, seeking our next location.’
    • ‘When I gave him a prod, he moved off in a leisurely way.’
    • ‘She then fell to her knees and worked for a few moments at stoking the fire, tapping the logs with the metal prod first and then using the bellows, her fingers warming as the fire flared higher.’
    • ‘A strange, almost gleeful look was on her face and persisted even when the student behind her gave her a sharp prod and a warning look, which baffled Ri and slightly unsettled her.’
    • ‘After a few prods and pokes, he gave an injection for the pain, sat at his desk, lifted the phone and ordered the air ambulance.’
    • ‘Poppa had a glass prod inside the tank, poking at her and recording her ferocity.’
    • ‘With appropriate physical gentleness, have a poke and a prod and check out the territory.’
    • ‘The kid shyly thanked me for the compliment (after a subtle prod from Dad) and then he continued jumping around.’
    • ‘She let the visitor in, giving him a soft prod to make him turn.’
    • ‘‘Come on, Dolly,’ I said, giving her an affectionate prod.’
    • ‘But it was just a question of getting on with it with pokes and prods.’
    • ‘Another funny thing about picking blackberries was the fact that no one seemed to take any notice of the tears in the clothes or the prods of the thorns.’
    • ‘After explaining that I've been feeling fine for the past few months, I lie face down for him to give me a healthy prod.’
    • ‘Five and a half months into my pregnancy, I finally felt my daughter's distant quaking and, soon after, legitimate pokes and prods that made my T-shirt bulge while I shopped for groceries.’
    • ‘When I wake I turn over carefully to give her a prod.’
    • ‘The main purpose of my wee trip was to see my Uncle John and give him a poke and prod prior to his heart surgery.’
    • ‘Sighing, he got to his feet, and gave her a prod in her side.’
    • ‘Yep, he thought as he yelped in pain from his experimental prod of the wounded area, that's gonna sting alright.’
    poke, jab, dig, nudge, butt, push, shove, thrust
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An act of stimulating or reminding someone to do something.
      ‘he'll need a little prod to get back to the task at hand’
      • ‘It is the force by which all wrongful things are repelled from us, the sharp prod which spurs the dullards onward.’
      • ‘Then again, that threat could act as a prod to keep the Americans in line.’
      • ‘But I think sometimes Americans need kind of a prod.’
      • ‘Health bosses are giving retailers an informal prod to sort out the problem themselves, but if stores fail to take action, officers have the power to seize products - and even prosecute.’
      • ‘A card full of love and silly jokes, and a gentle prod to point me back to my Bible, starting with the bits that I love.’
      • ‘He is excited as the third term gets under way, because now he'll start learning the nitty gritty details of just what constitutes an effective prod.’
      • ‘What is fast becoming the biggest prod to change is the faceless mass of investors pumping billions of dollars into companies.’
      • ‘Reading to a child opens new horizons and introduces him to the delights of reading which acts as a prod, an encouragement to begin reading for himself.’
      • ‘In an age where wars for oil and opium are waged under the disguise of altruism and democracy, works by those like Petty serve as prods to the sane.’
      • ‘Hunger was found to be an effective prod to ensure that workers - men, women and children from the age of six upwards - made it to the mill on time.’
      • ‘A little prod also made them talk about their lost relay race.’
      • ‘And I write the update as if any reader, given a little prod, will see the joke.’
      • ‘This is a gentle prod to the player to quickly finish off the game.’
      • ‘Greater Inverness's economy has enjoyed regular prods to keep it ticking over during the past four decades.’
      stimulus, push, prompt, reminder, prompting, spur, motivation
      View synonyms
  • 2A pointed implement, typically one discharging an electric current and used as a goad.

    ‘a cattle prod’
    • ‘The US soldiers wouldn't let him get back in the line and beat him with long batons and electric cattle prods.’
    • ‘It said the ‘state thugs’ beat people with batons and electric cattle prods, injuring around a dozen people, including one person whose foot was broken.’
    • ‘Using capsicum spray and cattle prods to subdue the refugees, military personnel escorted the boat back into Indonesian waters.’
    • ‘As was the case with this particular dog, some dogs deal on a regular basis with cattle prods or other shocking devices wielded by their masters or trainers.’
    • ‘Electric-shock prods and sharp sticks are typically used to torment and frighten the bulls into a stampede.’
    • ‘Instead, rocket launchers and shock prods, daggers and sniper rifles all take up just one slot each.’
    • ‘On the whole, electric prods are not needed on farms, as boards induce fewer behavioral problems and the use of the board can reduce the time required to move pigs.’
    • ‘Prior to release, electric prods and sharp sticks may well have been used to torment and frighten the bulls into a stampede.’
    • ‘We found that by adapting an electric shocking livestock prod, it is much easier.’
    • ‘Some writers have suggested that electric prods should never be used or should be used sparingly.’
    • ‘Cattle were reported to vocalize when an electric prod was used.’
    • ‘The electric prod can be used in rodeos by approved people, however the electric prod should be used with certain restrictions.’
    • ‘At least one picture showed a soldier holding what appeared to be an electric prod.’
    • ‘And now, they drew closer still, handcuffs in one hand and electric prods in the other.’
    • ‘There was a particular yearning in the air that the women could still sense, though the room had been filled with army cots and was patrolled by Aunts with electric cattle prods.’
    • ‘Suppose we had all seen the people gunned down in the stadium, being tortured with cattle prods, getting punished for their crime of supporting their democratically elected government?’
    • ‘He touched her with the prod and an electric current shot through her.’
    • ‘The police were equipped with guns that fire rubber bullets, as well as exploding pellets of pepper spray, electric prods, and a host of other new ‘less lethal’ weapons.’
    • ‘It took two members of Keyes' own staff using a combination of bullwhips and cattle prods to drive him away from the woman.’
    • ‘The charity says electric prods and sharp sticks are used on the animals to make them more aggressive before being let loose.’
    goad, stick, spike
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century (as a verb): perhaps symbolic of a short poking movement, or a blend of poke and dialect brod ‘to goad, prod’. The noun dates from the mid 18th century.