verb (used without object), waded, wading.
to walk in water, when partially immersed: He wasn't swimming, he was wading.
to play in water: The children were wading in the pool most of the afternoon.
to walk through water, snow, sand, or any other substance that impedes free motion or offers resistance to movement: to wade through the mud.
to make one's way slowly or laboriously (often followed by through ): to wade through a dull book.
Obsolete. to go or proceed.
verb (used with object), waded, wading.
to pass through or cross by wading; ford: to wade a stream.
an act or instance of wading: We went for a wade in the shallows.
Verb phrases
wade in/into,
to begin energetically.
to attack strongly: to wade into a thoughtless child; to wade into a mob of rioters.

before 900; Middle English waden to go, wade, Old English wadan to go; cognate with German waten, Old Norse vatha; akin to Old English wæd ford, sea, Latin vadum shoal, ford, vādere to go, rush

unwaded, adjective
unwading, adjective

4. labor, toil, plod, plow, work.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
wade (weɪd)
vb (often foll by through)
1.  to walk with the feet immersed in (water, a stream, etc): the girls waded the river at the ford
2.  to proceed with difficulty: to wade through a book
3.  (intr; foll by in or into) to attack energetically
4.  the act or an instance of wading
[Old English wadan; related to Old Frisian wada, Old High German watan, Old Norse vatha, Latin vadumford]

Wade (weɪd)
(Sarah) Virginia. born 1945, British tennis player: Wimbledon champion 1977

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

O.E. wadan "to go forward, proceed," in poetic use only, except as oferwaden "wade across," from P.Gmc. *wadan (cf. O.N. vaða, Dan. vade, O.Fris. wada, Du. waden, O.H.G. watan, Ger. waten "to wade"), from PIE base *wadh- "to go," found only in Gmc. and L. (cf. L. vadere "to go," vadum "shoal, ford,"
vadare "to wade"). The notion is of "to advance into water." It. guado, Fr. gué "ford" are Gmc. loan-words. Originally a strong verb (p.t. wod, pp. wad); weak since 16c. Figurative sense of "to go into" (action, battle, etc.) is recorded from late 14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He drove all the way out to the convention center and waded into the madding
However, you've waded into the taller weeds here and you are not making your
We waded when the water dropped to knee-deep in summer and carried a faint
  whiff of the sewage treatment plant upstream.
Hunters waded into specific areas of the marsh during specific times of the
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