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goad (n.)

Old English gad "point, spearhead, arrowhead, pointed stick used for driving cattle," from Proto-Germanic *gaido "goad, spear" (source also of Lombardic gaida "spear"), which is perhaps cognate with Sanskrit hetih "missile, projectile," himsati "he injures;" Avestan zaena- "weapon;" Greek khaios "shepherd's staff;" Old English gar "spear;" Old Irish gae "spear." Figurative use "anything that urges or stimulates" is since 16c., probably from the Bible.

goad (v.)

1570s, from goad (n.); earliest use is figurative, "incite, stimulate, instigate." Literal use by 1610s. Related: Goaded; goading.

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Definitions of goad
1
goad (v.)
give heart or courage to;
Synonyms: spur
goad (v.)
urge with or as if with a goad;
goad (v.)
stab or urge on as if with a pointed stick;
Synonyms: prick
goad (v.)
annoy or provoke, as by constant criticism;
Synonyms: needle
2
goad (n.)
a pointed instrument that is used to prod into a state of motion;
Synonyms: prod
goad (n.)
a verbalization that encourages you to attempt something;
Synonyms: goading / prod / prodding / urging / spur / spurring
From wordnet.princeton.edu