from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To move about restlessly or with little purpose, especially in search of pleasure or amusement. synonym: wander.
  • noun A pointed tool, such as a spike or chisel, used for breaking rock or ore.
  • noun A goad, as for prodding cattle.
  • transitive verb To break up (ore, for example) with a gad.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To fasten with a gad-nail.
  • In mining, to break up or loosen with the gad; use the gad upon.
  • noun The name of God, minced as an oath. Compare egad.
  • noun A measuring-rod for land; a measure of length varying, in different districts, from nine or ten to as many as twenty feet.
  • noun A division of an uninclosed pasture, said to have been usually 6½ feet wide in Lincolnshire.
  • noun A cord or rope made from the fibers of the osier.
  • To flit about restlessly; move about uneasily or with excitement.
  • To ramble about idly, from trivial curiosity or for gossip.
  • Hence To ramble or rove; wander, as in thought or speech; straggle, as in growth.
  • noun A point or pointed instrument, as a pointed bar of steel, a spear, or an arrowhead.
  • noun A sharp point affixed to a part of the armor, as the gauntlet, which could thus be used to deal a formidable blow.
  • noun A thick pointed nail; a gad-nail; specifically, in mining, a pointed tool used for loosening and breaking up rock or coal which has been shaken or thrown down by a blast, or which is loose and jointy enough to be got without the use of powder.
  • noun A wedge or ingot of steel or iron.
  • noun A stick, or rod of wood, sharpened to a point, or provided with a metal point, used to drive cattle with; a goad; hence, a slender stick or rod of any kind, especially one used for whipping.
  • noun A gadfly.
  • noun In old Scotch prisons, a round bar of iron crossing the condemned cell horizontally at the height of about six inches from the floor, and strongly built into the wall at both ends.
  • noun The act of gadding or rambling about: used in the phrase on or upon the gad.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The point of a spear, or an arrowhead.
  • noun A pointed or wedge-shaped instrument of metal, as a steel wedge used in mining, etc.
  • noun A sharp-pointed rod; a goad.
  • noun A spike on a gauntlet; a gadling.
  • noun obsolete A wedge-shaped billet of iron or steel.
  • noun Prov. Eng. Local, U.S. A rod or stick, as a fishing rod, a measuring rod, or a rod used to drive cattle with.
  • noun [Obs.] upon the spur of the moment; hastily.
  • intransitive verb To walk about; to rove or go about, without purpose; hence, to run wild; to be uncontrolled.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive To move from one location to another in an apparently random and frivolous manner.
  • interjection An exclamatory interjection roughly equivalent to 'by God', 'goodness gracious', 'for goodness' sake'.
  • noun A sharp-pointed object; a goad.
  • noun obsolete A metal bar.
  • noun A pointed metal tool for breaking or chiselling rock, especially in mining.
  • noun dated, metallurgy An indeterminate measure of metal produced by a furnace, perhaps equivalent to the bloom, perhaps weighing around 100 pounds.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb wander aimlessly in search of pleasure
  • noun an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic free-floating anxiety and such symptoms as tension or sweating or trembling or lightheadedness or irritability etc that has lasted for more than six months
  • noun a sharp prod fixed to a rider's heel and used to urge a horse onward


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English gadden, to hurry.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old Norse gaddr.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English gadden ("to hurry, to rush about").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Taboo deformation of God.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old Norse gaddr ("goad, spike").


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  • Northeast Alabama Regional Airport.

    October 29, 2008

  • "The ankles of a prisoner sentenced to death were secured within shackles which were connected, by a chain about four feet long, with a large iron ring which traveled on the gad. Watch-dogs are now sometimes fastened in a similar way."

    October 21, 2011