Definition of wade in English:

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Pronunciation: /wād/


[no object]
1Walk through water or another liquid or soft substance: we waded ashore
More example sentences
  • There were children building sandcastles and surfers wading out into the water carrying their surf boards under their arms.
  • Is this why my great-uncle waded ashore at Gallipoli, and my father fought in the Middle East, and my uncle spent years as a POW?
  • I set off downstream, walking, wading and scrambling, trying to stay upright on the algae-covered rocks.
paddle, wallow, dabble
informal splosh
1.1 [with object] Walk through (something filled with water): firefighters waded the waist-deep flood water
More example sentences
  • All the other competitors were paired up in boats, while I struggled against a howling head wind, wading the brackish water from the bank.
  • I waded the chilly waters of the Avon just above the point known as Ath na Fiann.
  • We wade the cold water, fishing for an hour in the driving rain.
1.2 (wade through) Read laboriously through (a long piece of writing).
Example sentences
  • However, I can resent having to wade through a piece only to come to the end and find nothing of value was said.
  • Who else would wade through every issue and still have the energy to read my column?
  • There are more than 1,500 scans of such documentation for you to wade through.
plow, plod, trawl, labor, toil;
study, browse
informal splash, slog
1.3 (wade into) informal Get involved in (something) vigorously or forcefully: he waded into the yelling, fighting crowd
More example sentences
  • Eyewitnesses say they waded into the students and beat them.
  • He wades into the melee, stocky arms thrust out to separate the protagonists.
  • However, the aim of this article is not to bemoan irresponsible legislation, wade into a controversial issue or attack the ‘evils’ of our society.
1.4 (wade in) informal Make a vigorous attack or intervention: Nicola waded in and grabbed the baby
More example sentences
  • But the police waded in attacking people indiscriminately.
  • The reaction of others who heard this interview tends to confirm that listeners didn't need to have the interviewer wade in on their behalf.
  • Hundreds of armed police rushed on to the pitch and waded in as fists flew among the players.


[in singular]
An act of wading.
Example sentences
  • The cave is a respectable size but we didn't follow it far, since after 30m a wade degenerated into a full on swim.
  • The Bone Cave experience begins with an icy wade across the Duck River and part of the mouth of Bashaw Creek.
  • A short wade out to sea, the bottom plates, remnants of the ship's engines and boiler lie collapsed upon themselves.



(also wadeable) adjective
Example sentences
  • Probably the best starting point is the footbridge at NN330909, although the Roy is wadeable in normal conditions at Brunachan, someway downstream.
  • The West Branch of the Delaware was wadeable at last check.
  • I stepped in and was delighted to find that the river was wadeable!


Old English wadan 'move onward', also 'penetrate', from a Germanic word meaning 'go (through)', from an Indo-European root shared by Latin vadere 'go', as in vade mecum.

Words that rhyme with wade

abrade, afraid, aid, aide, ambuscade, arcade, balustrade, barricade, Belgrade, blade, blockade, braid, brigade, brocade, cannonade, carronade, cascade, cavalcade, cockade, colonnade, crusade, dissuade, downgrade, enfilade, esplanade, evade, fade, fusillade, glade, grade, grenade, grillade, handmade, harlequinade, homemade, invade, jade, lade, laid, lemonade, limeade, made, maid, man-made, marinade, masquerade, newlaid, orangeade, paid, palisade, parade, pasquinade, persuade, pervade, raid, serenade, shade, Sinéad, staid, stockade, stock-in-trade, suede, tailor-made, they'd, tirade, trade, Ubaid, underpaid, undismayed, unplayed, unsprayed, unswayed, upbraid, upgrade

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: wade

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