American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A thin straight piece or bar of material, such as metal or wood, often having a particular function or use, as:
- n. A fishing rod.
- n. A piston rod.
- n. An often expandable horizontal bar, especially of metal, used to suspend household items such as curtains or towels.
- n. A leveling rod.
- n. A lightning rod.
- n. A divining rod.
- n. A measuring stick.
- n. A shoot or stem cut from or growing as part of a woody plant.
- n. A stick or bundle of sticks or switches used to give punishment by whipping.
- n. Punishment; correction.
- n. A scepter, staff, or wand symbolizing power or authority.
- n. Power or dominion, especially of a tyrannical nature: "under the rod of a cruel slavery” ( John Henry Newman).
- n. A linear measure equal to 5.5 yards or 16.5 feet (5.03 meters). Also called pole2.
- n. The square of this measure, equal to 30.25 square yards or 272.25 square feet (25.30 square meters). See Table at measurement.
- n. Bible A line of family descent; a branch of a tribe.
- n. Anatomy Any of various rod-shaped cells in the retina that respond to dim light.
- n. Microbiology An elongated bacterium; a bacillus.
- n. Slang A pistol or revolver.
- n. A portion of the undercarriage of a train, especially the drawbar under a freight car. Often used in the plural: ride the rods.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A shoot or slender stem of any woody plant, more especially when cut off and stripped of leaves or twigs; a wand; a straight slender stick; a cane; also, anything of similar form: as, a brass rod.
- n. Specifically— An instrument of punishment or correction; a single switch or stick, or a bundle of switches; hence, chastisement.
- n. The badge of office of certain officials who are in a sense guardians or controllers of others, or ushers, marshals, and the like. The use of rods of certain colors gives names to their bearers: as, in England, black-rod, green-rod, etc. See black-rod.
- n. A scepter; hence, figuratively, authority; sway.
- n. An enchanter's wand, or a wand possessing the power of enchantment.
- n. A long, light, tapering, elastic pole used in angling, to which the line is attached, now usually made in adjustable sections or joints, and fitted with guides and a reel. There are eight woods commonly used for rods, of which four are solid (greenheart, hickory, ash, and willow) and four are hollow (East Indian bamboo, Carolina and West Indian cane, white cane, and jungle-cane). Rods have also been made of hard rubber and of steel. Jointed rods are made in three or four pieces, of which the largest and heaviest is the butt, and the slenderest is the tip. The joints are fitted with metal rings or ferrules, and with small rings called guides to receive the line. The reel is stepped into the butt, near its end, or otherwise suitably attached, as by a reel-plate. The special makes of rods are very numerous, and their names almost equally so. Besides being named and classed according to the material of which they are composed, as bamboo rod, etc., they are commonly identified with the name of the fish for which they are specially designed: as, salmon-rod, trout-rod, bass-rod, etc. All rods are, however, divisible into three classes, according to their make and purpose. These are the fly-rod, which is long, slender, tapering, tough, and highly elastic; the trolling-rod, which is comparatively short, stout, and stiff; and the bait-rod, which is a mean between the other two. Fly-rods are most used, with artificial flies. Split-bamboo rods are now manufactured for all kinds of angling. See fly-rod, and cut under reel.
- n. An instrument for measuring.
- n. In mech., any bar slender in proportion to its length, particularly such a bar used as a brace or a tie between parts for connecting them, or for strengthening a connection between them. The term is used in a very indefinite manner, depending entirely upon individual judgment or caprice. What some would call a rod would by others be called a bar.
- n. Specifically, in a steam-engine, the pitman which connects the cross-head with the crank: also and more generally called connecting-rod. The connection is made at the cross-head to the cross-head pin, and at the crank to the crank-wrist. See cut under steam-engine.
- n. A measure of length equal to 5½ yards, or 16½ feet. (Also called pole and perch.) A square rod is the usual measure of brickwork, and is equal to 272¼ square feet.
- n. A shoot or branch of a family; a tribe or race.
- n. In anatomy, one of numerous slender rod-like or bacillary structures which collectively form, together with similar but conical bodies called cones, one of the layers of which the retina of the eye is composed, called the layer of rods and cones, essential to the function of vision. See cut under retina.
- n. In entomology, specifically, any differentiation of the anterior end of a retinal cell of the eye, which may unite to form a rhabdom. See rhabdomere.
- n. A fishing-rod made in sections of split bamboo strips.
- To furnish with a rod or rods; specifically, in recent use, to furnish or equip with lightning-rods.
- To operate upon with a rod, in any way.
- n. A Middle English form of road.
- n. A Middle English form of rode, preterit of ride.
- n. The central cone or peg in a gustatory cup on an insect's epipharynx.
- n. Any gorgonian with long, cylindrical branches.
- n. A straight, round stick, shaft, bar, cane, or staff.
- n. fishing A long slender usually tapering pole used for angling; fishing rod.
- n. A stick, pole, or bundle of switches or twigs (such as a birch), used for personal defense or to administer corporal punishment by whipping.
- n. An implement resembling and/or supplanting a rod (particularly a cane) that is used for corporal punishment, and metonymically called the rod, regardless of its actual shape and composition.
- n. A stick used to measure distance, by using its established length or task-specific temporary marks along its length, or by dint of specific graduated marks.
- n. (archaic) A unit of length equal to 1 pole, a perch, ¼ chain, 5½ yards, 16½ feet, or exactly 5.0292 meters (these being all equivalent).
- n. An implement held vertically and viewed through an optical surveying instrument such as a transit, used to measure distance in land surveying and construction layout; an engineer's rod, surveyor's rod, leveling rod, ranging rod. The modern (US) engineer's or surveyor's rod commonly is eight or ten feet long and often designed to extend higher. In former times a surveyor's rod often was a single wooden pole or composed of multiple sectioned and socketed pieces, and besides serving as a sighting target was used to measure distance on the ground horizontally, hence for convenience was of one rod or pole in length, that is, 5½ yards.
- n. archaic A unit of area equal to a square rod, 30¼ square yards or 1/160 acre.
- n. A straight bar that unites moving parts of a machine, for holding parts together as a connecting rod or for transferring power as a drive-shaft.
- n. anatomy Short for rod cell, a rod-shaped cell in the eye that is sensitive to light.
- n. biology Any of a number of long, slender microorganisms.
- n. chemistry A stirring rod: a glass rod, typically about 6 inches to 1 foot long and 1/8 to 1/4 inch in diameter that can be used to stir liquids in flasks or beakers.
- n. slang A pistol; a gun.
- n. slang A penis; the male rod.
- n. slang A hot rod, an automobile or other passenger motor vehicle modified to run faster and often with exterior cosmetic alterations, especially one based originally on a pre-1940s model or (currently) denoting any older vehicle thus modified.
- n. ufology rod-shaped objects which appear in photographs and videos traveling at high speed, not seen by the person recording the event, often associated with extraterrestrial entities
- n. mathematics a Cuisenarie rod
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A straight and slender stick; a wand; hence, any slender bar, as of wood or metal (applied to various purposes).
- n. An instrument of punishment or correction; figuratively, chastisement.
- n. A kind of sceptor, or badge of office; hence, figuratively, power; authority; tyranny; oppression.
- n. A support for a fishing line; a fish pole.
- n. (Mach. & Structure) A member used in tension, as for sustaining a suspended weight, or in tension and compression, as for transmitting reciprocating motion, etc.; a connecting bar.
- n. An instrument for measuring.
- n. A measure of length containing sixteen and a half feet; -- called also
perch, and pole.
- n. a long thin implement made of metal or wood
- n. a visual receptor cell that is sensitive to dim light
- n. a linear measure of 16.5 feet
- n. a gangster's pistol
- n. any rod-shaped bacterium
- n. a square rod of land
- Old English *rodd or *rodde (attested in dative plural roddum), of uncertain origin. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English rodd, from Old English. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“My six-foot spin rod is fine and so is my four-pound line.”
“The curtain rod is hung to low and is the wrong colour.”
“They suppose the term rod, must mean the iron rod of the unfeeling and unloving despot.”
“By the time your rod is at the farthest distance in your set, it has to have made "contact" with your jig and hopefully fish - plus some.”
“With a pole jointed like a fishing-rod he nips the stalk of the ripe nuts by two claw-like prongs with which the tip of his rod is armed, when they drop into a little basket-like cage worked to the stem some inches below.”
“You could get what they call a rod for ten bob, I dare say.”
“A dirty rod is one of the best ways to destroy the rifling especially at the muzzle!”
“And some of my favorite guides were orvis licensed, and the Helios rod is a work of art, Its amazing, need to find some spare cash to pick one up.”
“Believe it or not, a shorter bamboo fly rod is actually easier to cast.”
“I dont know that much about flyfishing and was wondering what weight rod is suggested for this. plz reply. thanks”
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