see also: Rod
  • (British) IPA: /ɹɒd/
  • (America) IPA: /ɹɑd/

rod (plural rods)

  1. A straight, round stick, shaft, bar, cane, or staff.
    The circus strong man proved his strength by bending an iron rod, and then straightening it.
  2. A longitudinal pole used for forming part of a framework such as an awning or tent.
  3. (fishing) A long slender usually tapering pole used for angling; fishing rod.
    When I hooked a snake and not a fish, I got so scared I dropped my rod in the water.
  4. A stick, pole, or bundle of switches or twigs (such as a birch), used for personal defense or to administer corporal punishment by whipping.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 8, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      So was I brought up: they tell mee, that in all my youth, I never felt rod {{transterm
  5. An implement resembling and/or supplanting a rod (particularly a cane) that is used for corporal punishment, and metonymically called the rod, regardless of its actual shape and composition.
    The judge imposed on the thief a sentence of fifteen strokes with the rod.
  6. A stick used to measure distance, by using its established length or task-specific temporary marks along its length, or by dint of specific graduated marks.
    I notched a rod and used it to measure the length of rope to cut.
  7. (archaic) A unit of length equal to 1 pole, a perch, fracchain, frac 5 yards, frac 16 feet, or exactly 5.0292 meters (these being all equivalent).
    • 1842, Edgar Allan Poe, ‘The Mystery of Marie Rogêt’:
      ‘And this thicket, so full of a natural art, was in the immediate vicinity, within a few rods, of the dwelling of Madame Deluc, whose boys were in the habit of closely examining the shrubberies about them in search of the bark of the sassafras.’
    • 1865, Henry David Thoreau, [ Cape Cod]
      In one of the villages I saw the next summer a cow tethered by a rope six rods long […].
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars, Ch.I:
      A few rods farther led him past the old black Presbyterian church, with its square tower, embowered in a stately grove; past the Catholic church, with its many crosses, and a painted wooden figure of St. James in a recess beneath the gable; and past the old Jefferson House, once the leading hotel of the town, in front of which political meetings had been held, and political speeches made, and political hard cider drunk, in the days of "Tippecanoe and Tyler too."
  8. An implement held vertically and viewed through an optical surveying instrument such as a transit, used to measure distance in land surveying and construction layout; an engineer's rod, surveyor's rod, surveying rod, leveling rod, ranging rod. The modern (US) engineer's or surveyor's rod commonly is eight or ten feet long and often designed to extend higher. In former times a surveyor's rod often was a single wooden pole or composed of multiple sectioned and socketed pieces, and besides serving as a sighting target was used to measure distance on the ground horizontally, hence for convenience was of one rod or pole in length, that is, frac 5 yards.
  9. (archaic) A unit of area equal to a square rod, frac 30 square yards or frac 160 acre.
    The house had a small yard of about six rods in size.
  10. A straight bar that unites moving parts of a machine, for holding parts together as a connecting rod or for transferring power as a drive-shaft.
    The engine threw a rod, and then went to pieces before our eyes, springs and coils shooting in all directions.
  11. (anatomy) A rod cell: a rod-shaped cell in the eye that is sensitive to light.
    The rods are more sensitive than the cones, but do not discern color.
  12. (biology) Any of a number of long, slender microorganisms.
    He applied a gram positive stain, looking for rods indicative of Listeria.
  13. (chemistry) A stirring rod: a glass rod, typically about 6 inches to 1 foot long and frac 8 to frac 4 inch in diameter that can be used to stir liquids in flasks or beakers.
  14. (slang) A pistol; a gun.
  15. (slang, vulgar) A penis.
  16. (slang) A hot rod, an automobile or other passenger motor vehicle modified to run faster and often with exterior cosmetic alterations, especially one based originally on a pre-1940s model or (currently) denoting any older vehicle thus modified.
  17. (ufology) A rod-shaped object that appears in photographs or videos traveling at high speed, not seen by the person recording the event, often associated with extraterrestrial entities.
    • 2000, Jack Barranger, Paul Tice, Mysteries Explored: The Search for Human Origins, Ufos, and Religious Beginnings, Book Three, p.37:
      These cylindrical rods fly through the air at incredible speeds and can only be picked up by high-speed cameras.
    • 2009, Barry Conrad, An Unknown Encounter: A True Account of the San Pedro Haunting, Dorrance Publishing, pp.129–130:
      During one such broadcast in 1997, the esteemed radio host bellowed, “I got a fax earlier today from MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) in Arizona and they said what you think are rods are actually insects!”
    • 2010, Deena West Budd, The Weiser Field Guide to Cryptozoology: Werewolves, Dragons, Skyfish, Lizard Men, and Other Fascinating Creatures Real and Mysterious, Weiser Books, p.15:
      He tells of a home video showing a rod flying into the open mouth of a girl singing at a wedding.
  18. (mathematics) A Cuisenaire rods.
  19. (rail transport) A coupling rod or connecting rod, which links the driving wheels of a steam locomotive.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: bacilo
  • Russian: па́лочка
Translations Translations Verb

rod (rods, present participle rodding; past and past participle rodded)

  1. (construction) To reinforce concrete with metal rods.
  2. (transitive) To furnish with rods, especially lightning rods.
  3. (slang, vulgar, transitive) To penetrate sexually.
  4. (slang) To hot rod.

Proper noun
  1. A nickname for the male given names Rodney and Roderick.

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