verb (used without object), gad·ded, gad·ding.

  1. to move restlessly or aimlessly from one place to another: to gad about.


  1. the act of gadding.


  1. a goad for driving cattle.
  2. a pointed mining tool for breaking up rock, coal, etc.


  1. (used as a mild oath.)


  1. a son of Zilpah. Gen. 30:11.
  2. one of the twelve tribes of Israel, traditionally descended from him.
  3. a Hebrew prophet and chronicler of the court of David. II Sam. 24:11–19.

verb gads, gadding or gadded

  1. (intr; often foll by about or around) to go out in search of pleasure, esp in an aimless manner; gallivant


  1. carefree adventure (esp in the phrase on or upon the gad)


  1. mining a short chisel-like instrument for breaking rock or coal from the face
  2. a goad for driving cattle
  3. a western US word for spur (def. 1)

verb gads, gadding or gadded

  1. (tr) mining to break up or loosen with a gad

noun, interjection

  1. an archaic euphemism for God by Gad!

noun Old Testament

    1. Jacob’s sixth son, whose mother was Zilpah, Leah’s maid
    2. the Israelite tribe descended from him
    3. the territory of this tribe, lying to the east of the Jordan and extending southwards from the Sea of Galilee
  1. a prophet and admonisher of David (I Samuel 22; II Samuel 24)

“to rove about,” mid-15c., perhaps a back-formation from Middle English gadeling (Old English gædeling) “kinsman, fellow, companion in arms,” but which had a deteriorated sense of “rogue, vagabond” by c.1300 (it also had a meaning “wandering,” but this is attested only from 16c.); or else it should be associated with gad (n.) “a goad for driving cattle.” Related: Gadding.


“goad, metal rod,” early 13c., from Old Norse gaddr “spike, nail,” from Proto-Germanic *gadaz “pointed stick” (see yard (n.2)).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

55 queries 0.456