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Probably short for Middle English wadmal (“woolen cloth”), from Old Norse váðmál (“woolen stuff”), from váð (“cloth”) + mál (“measure”). See wadmal. Cognate with Swedish vadd (“wadding, cotton wool”), German Wat, Watte (“wad, padding, cotton wool”), Dutch lijnwaad, gewaad, watten (“cotton wool”), West Frisian waad, Old English w?d (“garment, clothing”) (English: weed). More at weed, meal.
wad (plural wads)
- An amorphous, compact mass.
- A substantial pile (normally of money).
- A soft plug or seal, particularly as used between the powder and pellets in a shotgun cartridge, or earlier on the charge of a muzzleloader or cannon.
- (slang) A sandwich.
- (slang, vulgar) An ejaculation of semen.
- To crumple or crush into a compact, amorphous shape or ball.
- (Ulster) To wager.
- To insert or force a wad into.
- To stuff or line with some soft substance, or wadding, like cotton.
wad (countable and uncountable, plural wads)