Definition of wad in English:

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Pronunciation: /wäd/


1A lump or bundle of a soft material, used for padding, stuffing, or wiping: a wad of cotton
More example sentences
  • She made her way over to the bank of washrooms and ran some cold water over a wad of paper towels.
  • I caught the red mixture of blood and peroxide in the cotton wads and wiped it away.
  • You see people leaping out of the way as some great wad of canvas comes hurtling towards them.
lump, clump, mass, pad, swab, hunk, wedge, ball, cake, nugget;
bit, piece, plug
1.1chiefly historical A disk of felt or another material used to keep powder or shot in place in a gun barrel.
Example sentences
  • Consequently, the shot leaves the wad as a tightly controlled column with minimal dispersion.
  • We were hoping that it would actually contain shot and a wad and other materials which occasionally happens.
  • The tapered walls required the development of a new wad and the semi-hemispherical chamber required the use of slower powders to control pressures.
1.2A portion of chewing gum, or of tobacco or a narcotic when used for chewing.
Example sentences
  • Several-day's growth of beard covered his jaw, which moved and bulged with the wad of tobacco he chewed.
  • The army of arthropods slurped bits of organic material out of the muck, then ejected balls of it like so many wads of chewing tobacco.
  • He tilts his head back, sucks on his wad of tobacco, and grins at the handful of patrons shooting pool and shooting the breeze with him.
quid, twist, plug, chew, chaw
2A bundle of paper, banknotes, or documents: a thick wad of index cards
More example sentences
  • Savage stood and pulled his wallet from his back pocket, throwing a wad of cash on the table.
  • She grabbed a wad of papers from the table beside her bed, and threw it at me.
  • Well, here I am with a wad of cash in my pocket and no idea what to buy with it.
2.1 informal A large amount of something, especially money: she was working on TV and had wads of money
More example sentences
  • Farmers and miners are protesting that wads of money are being spent on technology when all they really want is some decent irrigation.
  • The owners have certainly not been quick to spend wads on new players.
  • Most of us don't have a large wad of disposable income left at the end of every month, which means, with the best will in the world, we can't give something to everyone.

verb (wads, wadding, wadded)

[with object] (usually as adjective wadded)
1Compress (a soft material) into a lump or bundle: a wadded handkerchief
More example sentences
  • He wadded the stained shirt into a ball and threw it so that it hit Ian in the face.
  • Nice of you to wad up all the goodwill you've accumulated and flush it down the toilet.
  • Kevin wadded up a sleeping bag to use as a pillow and jammed it under his arm.
2Stop up (an aperture or a gun barrel) with a bundle or lump of soft material: he had something wadded behind his teeth
More example sentences
  • Ever resourceful, she wadded some toilet paper between it and the door frame and found that it stayed shut.
2.1Line or stuff (a garment or piece of furniture) with wadding: a wadded sheepskin coat
More example sentences
  • He took it to his bed and then dumped out several wadded garments.
  • Thinly wadded and intricately stitched, all-white quilts represent a high point in the development of North Country quilting.
  • The Americans travel in convoys, wadded in Kevlar and helmets, guns held ready.
crumple, stuff, press, gather, pack, wrap


shoot one's wad

Spend all one’s money.
Originally, to fire one's gun with only the wad for a projectile when one's ammunition is exhausted
Example sentences
  • I see bike companies and other sponsors shoot their wad for road season and have nothing to invest come winter.


Mid 16th century (denoting wadding): perhaps related to Dutch watten, French ouate 'padding, absorbent cotton'.

Words that rhyme with wad

bod, clod, cod, god, hod, mod, nod, od, odd, plod, pod, prod, quad, quod, scrod, shod, squad, tod, Todd, trod

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: wad

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