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definition of the word rod

by the Wiktionnary

Old English rodd, Norse rudda



rod (plural rods)

  1. A straight, round stick, shaft or bar.
    The circus strong man proved his strength by bending an iron rod, and then straightening it again.
  2. (fishing) A long slender usually tapering pole used for angling; fishing rod.
    When I saw that I had hooked a snake and not a fish, I got so scared I dropped my rod in the water.
  3. A stick or bundle of switches or twigs, such as a birch, used for whiping someone, especially as a corporal punishment, often metonymically called the rod, even extended regardless of the actual implement.
    The judge imposed on the thief a sentence of fifteen strokes with the rod.
  4. A stick used to measure length.
    I fashioned a rod and notched it to measure the length of rope to cut.
  5. 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, leveling rod, ranging rod. The modern (US) engineer's or surveyor's rod is usually about ten feet long and 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 (e.g., to ascertain elevation using an optical instrument), was used to measure distance on the ground horizontally, hence for convenience was of one rod or pole in length.
  1. (archaic) A unit of length. Equal to a pole, a perch, ¼ chain or 5½ yards.
    • 1865 Henry David Thoreau, Cape Cod [1]
      In one of the villages I saw the next summer a cow tethered by a rope six rods long...
  2. (archaic) A unit of area equal to a square rod, 30¼ square yards or 1/160 acre.
    The house had a small yard of about six rods in size.
  3. A straight bar that connects moving parts of a machine; a connecting rod.
    The engine threw a rod, and then went to pieces before our eyes, springs and coils shooting in all directions.
  4. (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.
  5. (biology) Any of a number of long, slender microorganisms.
    He applied a gram positive stain, looking for rods indicative of Listeria.
  6. (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.
  7. (slang) A pistol; a gun.
  8. (slang) A penis; the male rod.
  9. Short for hot rod, a car modified to run faster, especially one based on a pre-1940s model.

Definition from Wiktionary
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