Definition of wade in English:


Syllabification: wade
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.
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).
More 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] Back to top  
An act of wading.
More 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.


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.



(also wadeable) adjective
More example sentences
  • Most of the wadable flats are near the inlets where it is sandy.
  • Mississippi streams do not offer the fly-fishing opportunities found in the West, but the state's wadeable streams provide good sport fishing of spotted and largemouth bass, longear sunfish and bluegill sunfish.
  • I stepped in and was delighted to find that the river was wadeable!

Definition of wade in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day noisome
Pronunciation: ˈnɔɪs(ə)m
having an extremely offensive smell