goad vs prick what difference

what is difference between goad and prick



From Middle English gode, from Old English gād (goad), from Proto-Germanic *gaidō (compare Old Norse gedda (pike (fish)), Lombardic gaida (spear)), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰey- (compare Old Irish gath (spear), Sanskrit हिन्वति (hinvati), हिनोति (hinoti, to urge on, throw), हेति (heti, missile, projectile)).


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɡəʊd/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ɡoʊd/
  • Rhymes: -əʊd


goad (plural goads)

  1. A long, pointed stick used to prod animals.
  2. (figuratively) That which goads or incites; a stimulus.



goad (third-person singular simple present goads, present participle goading, simple past and past participle goaded)

  1. To prod with a goad.
  2. To encourage or stimulate.
  3. To incite or provoke.


See also

  • goat


  • Goda, dago, doga



From Old English god, of Germanic origin.


goad (plural goads)

  1. God



  • IPA(key): /pɹɪk/, [pʰɹ̠̊ɪk]
  • Rhymes: -ɪk

Etymology 1

From Middle English prik, prikke, from Old English prica, pricu (a sharp point, minute mark, spot, dot, small portion, prick), from Proto-Germanic *prikô, *prikō (a prick, point), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *breyǵ- (to scrape, scratch, rub, prickle, chap). Cognate with West Frisian prik (small hole), Dutch prik (point, small stick), Danish prik (dot), Icelandic prik (dot, small stick). Pejorative context came from prickers, or witch-hunters.


prick (plural pricks)

  1. A small hole or perforation, caused by piercing. [from 10th c.]
  2. An indentation or small mark made with a pointed object. [from 10th c.]
  3. (obsolete) A dot or other diacritical mark used in writing; a point. [10th-18th c.]
  4. (obsolete) A tiny particle; a small amount of something; a jot. [10th-18th c.]
  5. A small pointed object. [from 10th c.]
  6. The experience or feeling of being pierced or punctured by a small, sharp object. [from 13th c.]
  7. A feeling of remorse.
    • 1768–1777, Abraham Tucker, The Light of Nature Pursued
      the pricks of conscience
  8. (slang, vulgar) The penis. [from 16th c.]
  9. (Britain, Australia, US, slang, derogatory) Someone (especially a man or boy) who is unpleasant, rude or annoying. [from 16th c.]
  10. (now historical) A small roll of yarn or tobacco. [from 17th c.]
  11. The footprint of a hare.
  12. (obsolete) A point or mark on the dial, noting the hour.
  13. (obsolete) The point on a target at which an archer aims; the mark; the pin.
    • 1579, Edmund Spenser, The Shepheardes Calender, “September”
      they that shooten nearest the prick
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From Middle English prikken, from Old English prician, priccan (to prick), from Proto-Germanic *prikōną, *prikjaną (to pierce, prick), of uncertain origin; perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *breyǵ- (to scrape, scratch, rub, prickle, chap). Cognate with dialectal English pritch, Dutch prikken (to prick, sting), Middle High German pfrecken (to prick), Swedish pricka (to dot, prick), and possibly to Lithuanian įbrėžti (to scrape, scratch, carve, inscribe, strike).


prick (third-person singular simple present pricks, present participle pricking, simple past and past participle pricked)

  1. (transitive) To pierce or puncture slightly. [from 11th c.]
    1. (farriery) To drive a nail into (a horse’s foot), so as to cause lameness.
    2. (transitive, hunting) To shoot without killing.
      • 1871, Robert Smith Surtees, Jorrocks’s jaunts and jollities (page 48)
        They had shot at old Tom, the hare, too, but he is still alive; at least I pricked him yesterday morn across the path into the turnip field.
  2. (transitive) To form by piercing or puncturing.
  3. (obsolete) To mark or denote by a puncture; to designate by pricking; to choose; to mark.
    • c. 1620, Francis Bacon, letter of advice to Sir George Villiers
      Some who are pricked for sheriffs.
  4. (transitive, chiefly nautical) To mark the surface of (something) with pricks or dots; especially, to trace a ship’s course on (a chart). [from 16th c.]
  5. (nautical, obsolete) To run a middle seam through the cloth of a sail.
  6. To fix by the point; to attach or hang by puncturing.
    • 1615, George Sandys, The Relation of a Journey begun an. Dom. 1610, in four books
      The cooks […]prick it [a slice] on a prog of iron.
  7. (intransitive, dated) To be punctured; to suffer or feel a sharp pain, as by puncture.
    • 17th century (probably 1606), William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, scene 1:
      By the pricking of my thumbs, / Something wicked this way comes.
  8. (transitive, intransitive) To make or become sharp; to erect into a point; to raise, as something pointed; said especially of the ears of an animal, such as a horse or dog; and usually followed by up.
    • The courser […] pricks up his ears.
  9. (horticulture) Usually in the form prick out: to plant (seeds or seedlings) in holes made in soil at regular intervals.
  10. (transitive) To incite, stimulate, goad. [from 13th c.]
  11. (intransitive, archaic) To urge one’s horse on; to ride quickly. [from 14th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.1:
      At last, as through an open plaine they yode,
      They spide a knight that towards them pricked fayre […].
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II, lines 527 to 538.
    • 1881, Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque:
      Indeed, it is a memorable subject for consideration, with what unconcern and gaiety mankind pricks on along the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
  12. To affect with sharp pain; to sting, as with remorse.
    • Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart.
    • ?, Alfred Tennyson, Geraint and Enid
      I was pricked with some reproof.
    • 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide
      Three days remained till Beltane’s E’en, and throughout this time it was noted that Heriotside behaved like one possessed. It may be that his conscience pricked him, or that he had a glimpse of his sin and its coming punishment.
  13. (transitive) To make acidic or pungent.
  14. (intransitive) To become sharp or acid; to turn sour, as wine.
  15. To aim at a point or mark.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Hawkins to this entry?)
  16. (obsolete, usually as prick up) to dress or adorn; to prink.





  1. exactly, sharp, on the spot


prick c

  1. a dot, small spot
  2. a remark, a stain (in a record of good behaviour)
  3. a guy, person; especially about a particularly nice or funny one
  4. a floating seamark in the form of a painted pole, possibly with cones, lights and reflectors

Usage notes

(guy, person): Mainly used in conjunction with the adjectives rolig (funny) or trevlig (nice), but also ruskig (eerie, scary).


Related terms

  • pricka
  • prickig

Derived terms


  • prick in Svenska Akademiens ordlista (SAOL)

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