I was at a English lecture when this word came out and the teacher didn't know the meaning. In addition I did a small online research but I didn't find a clear solution.

I cannot show you the word in a sentence because it was isolated in a word cloud.

One of the main meanings of "wading":

To walk in or through water or something else that similarly impedes normal movement

So maybe I can guess it has to do with surfing the web with difficulties or something similar. Is that right?

I don't really know, if anyone can help I will appreciate it.

  • What does isolated in a word cloud mean, please? If you have individual words like that my advice it to use a dictionary. It was probably "wading through some thing".
    – Lambie
    Dec 4, 2017 at 22:55
  • Sure, I have looked it up in the dictionary, but I didn't find anything useful related with technology. I found the word in a word cloud like this one @lambie
    – ChesuCR
    Dec 4, 2017 at 23:10

2 Answers 2


"Being Involved in Events is Being in Water" is one of the "master metaphors" used in language (including English). See the Master Metaphor List, page 41. The metaphor of a human entering a body of water for getting involved in an activity informs a number of idioms: "getting your feet wet", "diving in", "take the plunge", and of course "wading".

Since "wading" is the initial stage of a slow, careful process of being in water, in reference to technology, it would refer to the initial stages of being involved in some technology. Someone "wading in to digital photography" would be reading about the subject, maybe buying their first camera. As opposed to "diving in" or "taking the plunge", "wading" is a more careful, cautious way of going from not being in water to being in water. Or in the case of technology, "wading" is a careful, cautious way to go from not being involved in it to being involved in it.

You often find metaphorical uses of "wading" accompanied by other metaphorical water references:

That means it's also too early to wield genetic engineering for good but that hasn't stopped scientists from wading into ethically dubious waters by trying.
— Popular Science, "Can Genetic Engineering Create Killers?", 2015

Note the metaphorical use of "waters" referring to scientific research to coordinate with the metaphorical use of "wading".

Last December, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin visited Eli, wading through a sea of eager young men to a packed hall.
— Christian Science Monitor, "In Israel’s army, more officers are now religious. What that means." 2015

Note the metaphorical use of "sea" referring to a mass of people to coordinate with the metaphorical use of "wading"

Sorting through the types of wheat and flour to find the most nutritious or flavorful -- or the best to use for a specific purpose -- requires wading into a deep gene pool.
— Mother Earth News, "Types of Wheat: What to Grow and How to Use It", 2014

Note the metaphorical use of "pool" referring to a collection of genes to coordinate with the metaphorical use of "wading"

  • It's a metaphor. We use language that literally references being in water to talk about being involved in events.
    – nohat
    Dec 4, 2017 at 23:00
  • Ok, if you wade through a topic or book or some intellectual thing, it means you are trying to understand it by reading and thinking about it. OK? :)
    – Lambie
    Dec 4, 2017 at 23:12
  • @Lambie the word "wading" literally refers to getting into water, and using it to refer to getting involved is making a metaphor of getting involved with getting into water. It's a master metaphor of language, one that you probably don't even consciously think about. There are plenty of these metaphors; you can read about them in the link I put in the answer.
    – nohat
    Dec 4, 2017 at 23:19
  • Wading does not require walking. Just standing in water is wading
    – nohat
    Dec 4, 2017 at 23:30
  • Merriam-Webster gives as the first definition "to step in or through a medium (such as water)"—note in or through (merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wade)
    – nohat
    Dec 4, 2017 at 23:35

to wade through a topic or subject means to read about it and think about it so you can come to understand it. That said, it is always: wade through something, as an image.

Children often play in shallow water. When they walk through it, they are wading.

I'm wading through elementary particle physics and having a hard time.

For example.

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