V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary


verb, noun

Definition: (v.) to provoke or try to incite someone to do something; (n.) something, usually a verbalization, used to get someone to do something

Synonyms: (v.) push, prompt, incite, bully, coerce, provoke, motivate, spur, prod, (n.) stimulus, incentive, motivation, prod, jolt, spur

Antonyms: discourage

Tips: The original meaning of goad was "to prod an animal with a stick," and also referred to the stick itself. Think of goading goats and trying to get them to move along or do something. Today, the meaning has come to encompass any kind of prodding or prompting, but is used in a negative sense, a sense of pushing someone into doing something he or she doesn't really want to do. As a verb, goad should NOT be used to denote positive encouragement or support. As a noun, however, a goad can be a motivator, in a more positive sense. (see examples)

Usage Examples:

The group tried to goad Dale into singing karaoke by telling him he was a "chicken" if he didn't do it. (push, prod, bully) verb

The President delivered several speeches intended to goad congress into enacting new legislation. (incite, prompt, motivate) verb

I didn't want to be goaded into making a decision I wasn't comfortable with, so I decided to take some time to think about it. (pushed, coerced) verb

The teacher used a prize, which would go to the person who scored the highest grade on the next exam, as a goad to encourage the children to study. (motivator, spur) noun

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