A teacher might use a verbal prod when students aren't participating in class. A prod is an encouragement, like the threat of a quiz. Just hope the teacher doesn't use the kind of prod a rancher uses to keep cattle moving!

Prod can also be a verb that refers to a soft poke or a nudge, like when you prod someone in the ribs with your finger. It can also describe verbal encouragement that's used when you want something or want to know something. For example, you might prod your sister into helping you do your math homework.

Definitions of prod
  1. verb
    push against gently
    synonyms: nudge, poke at
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    give a slight push to
    shove one's elbow into another person's ribs
    type of:
    force, push
    move with force, "He pushed the table into a corner"
  2. verb
    poke or thrust abruptly
    synonyms: dig, jab, poke, stab
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    type of:
    push forcefully
  3. verb
    urge on; cause to act
    synonyms: egg on, incite
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    prod into action
    urge on with shouts
    urge with or as if with a goad
    goad with spurs
  4. noun
    a pointed instrument that is used to prod into a state of motion
    synonyms: goad
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    an elephant goad with a sharp spike and a hook
    gad, spur
    a sharp prod fixed to a rider's heel and used to urge a horse onward
    type of:
    an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose
  5. noun
    a verbalization that encourages you to attempt something
    “the ceaseless prodding got on his nerves”
    synonyms: goad, goading, prodding, spur, spurring, urging
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    type of:
    the expression of approval and support
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