- a straight, slender shoot or stem cut from, or still part of, a bush or tree
- Bible an offshoot or branch of a family or tribe; stock or race
- any straight, or almost straight, stick, shaft, bar, staff, etc., of wood, metal, or other material: curtain rods, a lightning rod
- a stick or switch, or a bundle of sticks or switches, for beating as punishment
- punishment; chastisement: usually with the
- a staff, scepter, etc., carried as a symbol of office, rank, or power
- power; authority; often, tyrannical rule
- fishing rod
- a stick used to measure something
- a unit of length in the FPS system, equal to 16.5 feet or 5.5 yards (5.0292 meters): abbrev. rd
- a square rod, equal to 30.25 square yards (25.2929 square meters)
- Slang a pistol or revolver
- Slang hot rod
- Anat. any of the rod-shaped cells in the retina of the vertebrate eye that are sensitive to dim light
- Bacteriology any microorganism shaped like a bacillus
Origin of rodMiddle English rodde from Old English rodd, akin to Old Norse rudda, club, probably from Indo-European base an unverified form r?t-, an unverified form r?t-, bar, beam from source Classical Latin retae, trees on a river bank
ride the rods
Slang to steal a ride on a freight train
- A thin straight piece or bar of material, such as metal or wood, often having a particular function or use, as:a. A fishing rod.b. A piston rod.c. An often expandable horizontal bar, especially of metal, used to suspend household items such as curtains or towels.d. A leveling rod.e. A lightning rod.f. A divining rod.g. A measuring stick.h. One of the horizontal elements in a truss system underneath a rail car, especially a freight car.
- A shoot or stem cut from or growing as part of a woody plant.
- a. A stick or bundle of sticks or switches used to give punishment by whipping.b. Punishment; correction.
- a. A scepter, staff, or wand symbolizing power or authority.b. Power or dominion, especially of a tyrannical nature: “under the rod of a cruel slavery” ( John Henry Newman )
- Abbr. rd a. A linear measure equal to 5.5 yards or 16.5 feet (5.03 meters). Also called pole 2.b. The square of this measure, equal to 30.25 square yards or 272.25 square feet (25.30 square meters).
- Anatomy Any of various rod-shaped cells in the retina that respond to dim light. Also called rod cell .
- Microbiology An elongated bacterium; a bacillus.
- Slang A pistol or revolver.
- Vulgar Slang A penis, especially when erect.
Origin of rodMiddle English rodd from Old English
- 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.
- (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.
- A stick, pole, or bundle of switches or twigs (such as a birch), used for personal defense or to administer corporal punishment by whipping.
- 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.
- 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.
- (archaic) A unit of length equal to 1 pole, a perch, Â¼ chain, 5Â½ yards, 16Â½ feet, or exactly 5.0292 meters (these being all equivalent).
- 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, 5Â½ yards.
- (archaic) A unit of area equal to a square rod, 30Â¼ square yards or 1/160 acre.
- The house had a small yard of about six rods in size.
- 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.
- (anatomy) Short for 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.
- (biology) Any of a number of long, slender microorganisms.
- He applied a gram positive stain, looking for rods indicative of Listeria.
- (chemistry) A stirring rod: a glass rod, typically about 6 inches to 1 foot long and 1/8 to 1/4 inch in diameter that can be used to stir liquids in flasks or beakers.
- (slang) A pistol; a gun.
- (slang) A penis.
- (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.
- (ufology) rod-shaped objects which appear in photographs and videos traveling at high speed, not seen by the person recording the event, often associated with extraterrestrial entities
- (mathematics) a Cuisenaire rod
Old English *rodd or *rodde (attested in dative plural roddum), of uncertain origin.