Meaning of rod in English:


Pronunciation /rɒd/

See synonyms for rod

Translate rod into Spanish


  • 1A thin straight bar, especially of wood or metal.

    ‘concrete walls reinforced with steel rods’
    • ‘a curtain rod’
    • ‘These elegantly diminutive, finely wrought sculptures employ curved, flat and linear shapes that perch upon thin metal rods.’
    • ‘Approximately half of the tubes are filled with thin steel rods, which radiate outward to varying lengths.’
    • ‘In the living room, a chainmail curtain hung from a metal rod is a fireguard for the aluminium clad fireplace.’
    • ‘Made of cinderblocks reinforced by steel rods, the undulating light-gray walls stretch some 140 feet in length.’
    • ‘The multidisciplinary, cross-curriculum workshops enable all those who take part to build spectacular structures with the simplest of materials: thin wooden rods and rubber bands.’
    • ‘Both sculptures involve single plaster-walled cubes with open tops, out of which spiral successively smaller cubes made from metal rods.’
    • ‘Here, three metal rods ran across a corner of the gallery, each supporting a large pulley wheel and a piece of canvas strap’
    • ‘Some untitled works from 1999 consist of a series of swags of satin, attached to curtain rods and installed on a wall.’
    • ‘Balusters were made of 90 mm steel rods cast into holes drilled into the rock and connected by steel plates.’
    • ‘The glass box is tethered to the brick walls with suspension rods, which reinforce the two separate structures, helping them to withstand extreme weather conditions and earthquakes.’
    • ‘The boulders themselves are kinetic sculptures; all but the heaviest rotates with the slightest touch, balanced atop a single stainless steel rod.’
    • ‘The white stucco ceiling undulates up to a peak of 22 ft; the walls fan out, and their pale ash panelling is overlaid by ribs of clustered birch rods.’
    • ‘Four ‘Freefall Image’ sculptures were made of connected bronze rods with mottled surfaces and polished highlights.’
    • ‘Set against a blue background, the butterflies are connected to rods and wires that move their wings and simulate flight.’
    • ‘I then welded a 1-inch piece of solid rod to the metal.’
    • ‘There's also a table with three skinny legs and a lidded jar with a thick, straight, vertical handle that rises up like the rod of a butter churn.’
    • ‘Work stopped in 1970, leaving blocked arches in the incomplete north transept, only a few bays of the intended cloister, and reinforcement rods protruding vainly from the stump of the crossing tower.’
    • ‘The masonry units require steel post tension rods, anchor bolts, steel plates, and couplers for installation.’
    • ‘The bright red fiberglass clasp, tilted at a 45-degree angle, rested on the floor; it connected to the wall by means of a thick steel rod.’
    • ‘The stair is elegantly made, a light filigree of steel rod and plates that contrasts with the heavy mass concrete solidity of the vault.’
    bar, stick, pole, baton, staff
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A wand or staff as a symbol of office, authority, or power.
      ‘the royal insignia included the ring, the sceptre, and the rod’
      • ‘She's all about the discipline of the rod and the power of a dollar.’
      • ‘Chiron raises two fingers in the standard antique gesture of a teacher while holding a rod in his other hand.’
      • ‘There were also numerous pictures of Cadere, youthful and earnest, a modern shaman with rod in hand.’
      staff, wand, mace, sceptre
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2A slender straight stick or shoot growing on or cut from a tree or bush.
      • ‘the roof is formed of willow and hazel rods woven between willow rafters’
    3. 1.3A stick used for caning or flogging.
      ‘he swung the rod again in a threatening arc’
      • ‘I say relatively, because all too frequently you've broken the very rules you vow to uphold, particularly through your selective choice and editing of sequences of material which you then employ as a rod with which to beat us, and others.’
    4. 1.4the rodThe use of a stick as punishment.
      • ‘if you'd been my daughter, you'd have felt the rod’
      corporal punishment, the cane, the lash, the birch, the belt, the strap
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5 vulgar slang A man's penis.
  • 2A fishing rod.

    ‘he hooked an enormous fish which almost pulled the rod from out of his hands’
    • ‘the largest carp ever caught on rod and line in Britain’
    • ‘He is shown with a huge carp and a rod for fishing.’
    • ‘Sorry, but you have to leave the fly fishing rods at home.’
    • ‘Over the past fifty years I have used dozens of fly fishing rods.’
    • ‘I therefore normally use a soft action float rod with a reel loaded with about 3lb b.s. line.’
    • ‘I quickly followed, setting up my 10 ft 6in cane float rod with a centre pin reel.’
    • ‘I come to the river rod in hand, neither saint nor renegade.’
    • ‘I find a 12 ft rod with a fast taper and 2.75 lb test curve just right.’
    1. 2.1An angler.
      • ‘over a hundred rods turned out for the day, including some famous names’
  • 3mainly British historical

    another term for perch (sense 1 of the noun)

    1. 3.1
      another term for perch (sense 2 of the noun)
  • 4US informal A pistol or revolver.

  • 5Anatomy
    A light-sensitive cell of one of the two types present in large numbers in the retina of the eye, responsible mainly for monochrome vision in poor light.

    Compare with cone (sense 3 of the noun)

    ‘Messing with our rods and cones, Downing's saturated dots stick around perceptually in afterimages.’
    • ‘Be warned, if you sit too close to the screen, the TV may do permanent damage to your rods and cones.’


    make a rod for one's own back
    • Do something likely to cause difficulties for oneself later.

      ‘Before I started it, people said, ‘You're making a rod for your own back with that lot,’ but as a group they were the best people I'd ever worked with.’
      • ‘You don't make a rod for your own back when you manage a club like Rangers.’
      • ‘The FA have made a rod for their own back with this decision, which could now make the game almost impossible to govern.’
      • ‘He has perhaps made a rod for his own back with his statement that the ‘thousands of youngsters who take part in other sports… need our support and they are going to get it.’’
      • ‘The manager has probably also made a rod for his own back over his handling of the goalkeeping position.’
      • ‘I wouldn't define it that way because of the pejoratives loaded around it; that would be making a rod for your own back.’
      • ‘He has said that he would describe himself as a Stalinist if it was not ‘making a rod for my own back’.’
      • ‘I think I might have let those expectations get on top of me a little and I've probably made a rod for my own back.’
      • ‘But he made a rod for his own back in staying quiet.’
      • ‘So, what I'm saying here is that by going along with this at all you've made a rod for your own back.’
    rule with a rod of iron
    • Control or govern very strictly or harshly.

      ‘she ruled their lives with a rod of iron’
      • ‘I learned through gossip that she ruled her family with a rod of iron and she controlled the purse strings to her fortune.’
      • ‘The prosecution claims that he was a father of very strong tradition who ruled his home with a rod of iron.’
      • ‘For now, the man who has ruled the country with a rod of iron for more than three decades can sleep relatively soundly.’
      • ‘He led the country to its independence from France in 1960 and then ruled the country with a rod of iron until his death in 1993.’
      • ‘What was not spelt out, was the importance of another Scots tradition, the ‘dominie’, or head teacher, who formed the ethos of the school and usually ruled it with a rod of iron.’
      • ‘A good overcoat roller in a company need never thirst, in fact he could, if he liked, rule his comrades with a rod of iron.’
      • ‘His job is to strike down the nations, ruling them with a rod of iron.’
      • ‘She thought it was pathetic; he was already ruling the class with a rod of iron.’
      • ‘Smith ruled his men with a rod of iron, and as long as he was alive Hepple was safe.’
      • ‘As the hospital counterpart of the mistress of the household, she might rule her own domain with a rod of iron, but always deferred to father.’
    spare the rod and spoil the child
    • If children are not physically punished when they do wrong their personal development will suffer.

      ‘I am of 1920s vintage and in those days it was spare the rod and spoil the child and children should be seen and not heard.’
      • ‘You see, being traditional Chinese, my parents believed in the notion ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’.’
      • ‘He was a man of his time, when the philosophy was ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ - very different from today.’
      • ‘On Education Watch I note an argument in favour of ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’’
      • ‘He has evidence that ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ is still right for some kids today.’
      • ‘Writing in a pre-indulgent age when ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ was a cherished maxim of proper parenting, she stated firmly that ‘… children should be provided with proper tools.’’
      • ‘If one partner believes in the old adage ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ while the other parent prefers to reason with children when they misbehave there is likely to be conflict.’


Late Old English rodd ‘slender shoot growing on or cut from a tree’, also ‘straight stick or bundle of twigs used to inflict punishment’; probably related to Old Norse rudda ‘club’.