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rod  (rd)
1. A thin straight piece or bar of material, such as metal or wood, often having a particular function or use, as:
a. A fishing rod.
b. A piston rod.
c. An often expandable horizontal bar, especially of metal, used to suspend household items such as curtains or towels.
d. A leveling rod.
e. A lightning rod.
f. A divining rod.
g. A measuring stick.
2. A shoot or stem cut from or growing as part of a woody plant.
a. A stick or bundle of sticks or switches used to give punishment by whipping.
b. Punishment; correction.
4. A scepter, staff, or wand symbolizing power or authority.
5. Power or dominion, especially of a tyrannical nature: under the rod of a cruel slavery (John Henry Newman).
6. Abbr. rd
a. A linear measure equal to 5.5 yards or 16.5 feet (5.03 meters). Also called pole2.
b. The square of this measure, equal to 30.25 square yards or 272.25 square feet (25.30 square meters). See Table at measurement.
7. Bible A line of family descent; a branch of a tribe.
8. Anatomy Any of various rod-shaped cells in the retina that respond to dim light.
9. Microbiology An elongated bacterium; a bacillus.
10. Slang A pistol or revolver.
11. A portion of the undercarriage of a train, especially the drawbar under a freight car. Often used in the plural: ride the rods.

[Middle English rodd, from Old English.]

rod [rɒd]
1. a slim cylinder of metal, wood, etc.; stick or shaft
2. a switch or bundle of switches used to administer corporal punishment
3. any of various staffs of insignia or office
4. power, esp of a tyrannical kind a dictators iron rod
5. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Plants) a straight slender shoot, stem, or cane of a woody plant
6. (Individual Sports & Recreations / Angling) See fishing rod
7. (Mathematics & Measurements / Units) Also called pole perch
a.  a unit of length equal to 5½ yards
b.  a unit of square measure equal to 30¼ square yards
8. (Miscellaneous Technologies / Building) a straight narrow board marked with the dimensions of a piece of joinery, as the spacing of steps on a staircase
9. (Engineering / Mechanical Engineering) a metal shaft that transmits power in axial reciprocating motion piston rod, con(necting) rod Compare shaft [5]
10. (Mathematics & Measurements / Surveying) Surveying another name (esp US) for staff1 [8]
11. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Anatomy) Also called retinal rod any of the elongated cylindrical cells in the retina of the eye, containing the visual purple (rhodopsin), which are sensitive to dim light but not to colour Compare cone [5]
12. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Microbiology) any rod-shaped bacterium
13. a slang word for penis
14. (Military / Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) US slang name for pistol [1]
15. (Engineering / Automotive Engineering) short for hot rod
[Old English rodd; related to Old Norse rudda club, Norwegian rudda, rydda twig]
rodlike  adj

rod  (rd)
One of the rod-shaped cells in the retina of the eye of many vertebrate animals. Rods are more sensitive to light than cones and are responsible for the ability to see in dim light. However, rods are insensitive to red wavelengths of light and do not contribute greatly to the perception of color. Compare cone.

rod  /rd/  n. a narrow, cylindrical piece of material (of metal, wood, or plastic): Long steel rods are used to reinforce concrete columns in new buildings. rod

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