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gadding, adj.

Forms:  see gad v.1   and -ing suffix2.(Show Less)
Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: Formed within English, by derivation. Etymons: gad v.1, -ing suffix2.

 1. That gads or gads about; (in early use) that goes astray; wandering, roving; (now usually) that goes to many social events or travels to many places for pleasure; gallivanting.In quot. 1859: garrulous, gossiping; cf. gadabout adj.

1545   R. Ascham Toxophilus i. f. 13   Beche, Elder, Aspe, and Salowe, eyther for theyr wekenes or lyghtenesse, make holow, starting, studding, gaddynge shaftes.
1596   W. Warner Albions Eng. (rev. ed.) ix. lii. 236   Our gadding Thoughts conceite the Cloudes.
1625   Bacon Ess. (new ed.) 42   Envy is a Gadding Passion, and walketh the Streets, and doth not keepe home.
1699   B. E. New Dict. Canting Crew   Gadding Gossips, way-going Women, Fidging and Fisking everywhere.
1728   H. Fielding Love in Several Masques iii. vii. 33   The Traps are no gadding Family, our Women stay at Home and do Business.
1829   T. Carlyle in Foreign Rev. Jan. 444   A gadding, feather-brained set of wantons.
1859   Tennyson Guinevere in Idylls of King 241   The good nuns would check her gadding tongue Full often.
1939   Washington Post 23 July 10/5   This is the twenty-first travel book to be written by the gadding Michigander.
2010   @mollyflatt 11 Nov. in twitter.com (O.E.D. Archive)    I fear for my reputation as a gadding blonde about town.

 2. Of a bovine animal: rushing or leaping about in a frenzied manner, because of excessive heat or (esp.) the presence of gadflies. Cf. gad v.1 3.

1604   M. Drayton Moyses i. 25   Scorching heat the gadding Heards do grieue.
1612   M. Drayton Poly-olbion xviii. 284   In Summer when the Fly doth prick the gadding Neate.
1737   Artless Muse 42   Gadding Herds, perplex'd with Flies and Heat, Dash'd thro' the Fords.
1793   J. Anketell Poems 196   The gadding cows move homewards slow.
1863   Preston Chron. 21 Nov. 3/2   The startled hare, the bleating lamb, the gadding cow.
1936   Manch. Guardian 24 Apr. 6/4   The fly increasing its speed to keep pace with the gadding heifer.
1980   F. Manolson & A. Fraser in K. Thear & A. Fraser Austral. & N.Z. Compl. Bk. Raising Livestock & Poultry (1981) vii. 187/2   Gadding cattle are liable to break fences and injure themselves.
2007   Irish Times 22 June 21/3   Richie..hopped around like a gadding cow.

 3. Chiefly poet. Of a plant or part of a plant, esp. a vine: spreading, rambling, straggling. Cf. gad v.1 4.

1638   Milton Lycidas in Obsequies 21 in Justa Edouardo King   With wild thyme and the gadding vine oregrown.
a1678   A. Marvell Misc. Poems (1681) 97   Curle me about ye gadding Vines.
1751   Love without Mask 7   The gadding musk and wild thyme creep.
1777   T. Warton Inscript. Hermitage iii. 24   Fantastic ivy's gadding spray.
1822   S. Rogers Poems (new ed.) 94   Soon through the gadding vine the sun looks in.
1873   J. A. Symonds Stud. Greek Poets x. 312   The stone walls..are..fragrant with gadding violets that ripple down their sides.
1943   Country Life 30 July 196/2   Festoons of gadding flowers.
1997   Australian (Nexis) 8 Oct. 18   Tender buds are springing on the gadding vines.



gaddingly adv. Obsolete

1552   R. Huloet Abcedarium Anglico Latinum   Gaddingly, as they that went on pilgrimage, peregre.
1567   T. Drant tr. Horace Arte of Poetrie sig. Bvij   He that dothe belch out puffinge rymes, And gaddingly doth straye.
1755   Johnson Dict. Eng. Lang.   Gaddingly, in a rambling, roving manner.

This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, June 2018).

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