Meaning of spud in English:



  • 1informal A potato.

    • ‘Start by making the mashed potatoes: peel the spuds and cover them with cold water.’
    • ‘The humble spud is high in vitamin C and potassium, and is a good source of fiber.’
    • ‘The vegetable garden is doing quite well, with spuds, broccoli, onions, cabbage and garlic all starting to grow.’
    • ‘The lasagne came with chips and salad while the sausages were accompanied by roast spuds and mixed vegetables.’
    • ‘If you don't get down to the market before 4.30 pm, you'll have missed your last chance to enjoy their spectacular spuds, caulis, carrots and broccoli, all grown on the family firm's own acres in Wigginton.’
    • ‘An appeal was made to every man who had a farm, garden or allotment to plant more spuds to make up the shortfall and help the county support itself.’
  • 2A small, narrow spade for cutting the roots of plants, especially weeds.

  • 3often as modifier A short length of pipe that is used to connect two components or that takes the form of a projection from a fitting to which a pipe may be screwed.

    ‘a spud washer’
    • ‘Take the spud washer off the pipe that sticks out of the bottom of the tank.’
    • ‘Turn the tank over and attach the spud washer over the tailpiece of pipe.’
  • 4A type of ice chisel.

verbspuds, spudding, spudded

[with object]
  • 1Dig up or cut (plants, especially weeds) with a small spade.

  • 2Make the initial drilling for (an oil well).

    • ‘The well will be spudded in late July and is expected to take just over two months to complete.’
    • ‘A second appraisal well in the Hovea oil field is expected to be spudded later this month.’
    • ‘Talisman had identified July 1 as the date it wants to spud its first well in the Eastern Block, in southeast Trinidad, but was unsure if it could meet the date because it had not been granted environmental clearance.’
    • ‘In 1905 the Moturoa Petroleum Co's birthday well (apparently named such because it was ‘spudded’ on the manager's birthday) blew out impressive amounts of oil and gas.’


Late Middle English (denoting a short knife): of unknown origin. The sense ‘potato’ (dating from the mid 19th century) was originally slang and dialect.