1. a cushionlike mass of soft material used for comfort, protection, or stuffing.
  2. a soft, stuffed cushion used as a saddle; a padded leather saddle without a tree.
  3. a number of sheets of paper glued or otherwise held together at one edge to form a tablet.
  4. a soft, ink-soaked block of absorbent material for inking a rubber stamp.
  5. Anatomy, Zoology. any fleshy mass of tissue that cushions a weight-bearing part of the body, as on the underside of a paw.
  6. the foot, as of a fox, hare, or wolf.
  7. a piece or fold of gauze or other absorbent material for use as a surgical dressing or a protective covering.
  8. Zoology. a pulvillus, as on the tarsus or foot of an insect.
  9. a lily pad.
  10. Rocketry. launch pad.
  11. Slang.
    1. one’s living quarters, as an apartment or room.
    2. one’s bed.
    3. a room where people gather to take narcotics; an addicts’ den.
  12. Slang.
    1. money paid as a bribe to and shared among police officers, as for ignoring law violations.
    2. a list of police officers receiving such money.
  13. Electricity. a nonadjustable attenuator consisting of a network of fixed resistors.
  14. Shipbuilding.
    1. a metal plate riveted or welded to a surface as a base or attachment for bolts, hooks, eyes, etc.
    2. a piece of wood laid on the back of a deck beam to give the deck surface a desired amount of camber.
  15. Carpentry.
    1. a handle for holding various small, interchangeable saw blades.
    2. Also pod.a socket in a brace for a bit.
  16. Metallurgy. a raised surface on a casting.
  17. a small deposit of weld metal, as for building up a worn surface.

verb (used with object), pad·ded, pad·ding.

  1. to furnish, protect, fill out, or stuff with a pad or padding.
  2. to expand or add to unnecessarily or dishonestly: to pad a speech; to pad an expense account.
  3. Metallurgy. to add metal to (a casting) above its required dimensions, to insure the flow of enough metal to all parts.

verb (used without object), pad·ded, pad·ding.

  1. to insure the proper forging of a piece.


  1. on the pad, Slang. (of a police officer) receiving a bribe, especially on a regular basis.


  1. a dull, muffled sound, as of footsteps on the ground.
  2. a road horse, as distinguished from a hunting or working horse.
  3. a highwayman.
  4. British Dialect. a path, lane, or road.

verb (used with object), pad·ded, pad·ding.

  1. to travel along on foot.
  2. to beat down by treading.

verb (used without object), pad·ded, pad·ding.

  1. to travel on foot; walk.
  2. to walk so that one’s footsteps make a dull, muffled sound.

  1. Pennsylvania Dutch.


  1. a thick piece of soft material used to make something comfortable, give it shape, or protect it
  2. a guard made of flexible resilient material worn in various sports to protect parts of the body
  3. Also called: stamp pad, ink pad a block of firm absorbent material soaked with ink for transferring to a rubber stamp
  4. Also called: notepad, writing pad a number of sheets of paper fastened together along one edge
  5. a flat piece of stiff material used to back a piece of blotting paper
    1. the fleshy cushion-like underpart of the foot of a cat, dog, etc
    2. any of the parts constituting such a structure
  6. any of various level surfaces or flat-topped structures, such as a launch pad
  7. entomol a nontechnical name for pulvillus
  8. the large flat floating leaf of the water lily
  9. electronics a resistive attenuator network inserted in the path of a signal to reduce amplitude or to match one circuit to another
  10. slang a person’s residence
  11. slang a bed or bedroom

verb pads, padding or padded (tr)

  1. to line, stuff, or fill out with soft material, esp in order to protect or give shape to
  2. (often foll by out) to inflate with irrelevant or false informationto pad out a story

verb pads, padding or padded

  1. (intr; often foll by along, up, etc) to walk with a soft or muffled tread
  2. (when intr, often foll by around) to travel (a route) on foot, esp at a slow pace; trampto pad around the country


  1. a dull soft sound, esp of footsteps
  2. archaic short for footpad
  3. archaic, or dialect a slow-paced horse; nag
  4. Australian a path or tracka cattle pad

n.1550s, “bundle of straw to lie on,” possibly from or related to Low German or obsolete Flemish pad “sole of the foot,” which is perhaps from PIE *pent- “to tread, go” (see find (v.)), but cf. path (n.). Meaning “cushion-like part of an animal foot” is from 1790 in English. Generalized sense of “something soft” is from c.1700; the sense of “a number of sheets fastened together” (in writing pad, drawing pad, etc.) is from 1865. Sense of “takeoff or landing place for a helicopter” is from 1960. The word persisted in underworld slang from early 18c. in the sense “sleeping place,” and was popularized again c.1959, originally in beatnik speech (later hippie slang) in its original English sense of “place to sleep temporarily.” v.1“to walk,” 1550s, probably from Middle Dutch paden “walk along a path, make a path,” from pad, pat “path.” Originally criminals’ slang, perhaps of imitative origin (sound of feet trudging on a dirt road). Related: Padded; padding. v.2“to stuff, increase the amount of,” 1827, from pad (n.); transferred to expense accounts, etc. from 1913. Related: Padded; padding. Notion of a padded cell in an asylum or prison is from 1862 (padded room). n.

  1. A soft material forming a cushion, used in applying or relieving pressure on a part, or in filling a depression so that dressings can fit snugly.
  2. A fatty mass of tissue acting as a cushion in the body, such as the fleshy underside of a finger or toe.

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