Etymology: perhaps from Middle Dutch paden to follow a path, from pad path
to traverse on foot
to go on foot ; walk; especially to walk with or as if with padded feet <the dog padded along beside him> <padding around in bedroom slippers> II. noun Etymology: Middle Dutch pad Date: 1567 1. dialect British path 2. a horse that moves along at an easy pace 3. archaic footpad III. noun Etymology: origin unknown Date: 1570 1. a. a thin flat mat or cushion: as (1) a piece of soft stuffed material used as or under a saddle (2) padding used to shape an article of clothing (3) a guard worn to shield body parts against impact (4) a piece of usually folded absorbent material (as gauze) used as a surgical dressing or protective covering (5) a component of certain brake systems (as disc brakes) consisting of a plate covered with a frictional material b. a piece of material saturated with ink for inking the surface of a rubber stamp 2. a. the foot of an animal b. the cushioned thickening of the underside of the toes of an animal 3. a floating leaf of a water plant 4. a collection of sheets of paper glued together at one end 5. a. (1) a section of an airstrip used for warm-ups or turnarounds (2) an area used for helicopter takeoffs and landings b. launchpad c. a horizontal concrete surface (as for parking a mobile home) 6. a. bed b. living quarters IV. transitive verb (padded; padding) Date: 1827 1. a. to furnish with a pad or padding b. mute, muffle 2. to expand or increase especially with needless, misleading, or fraudulent matter <pad the sales figures> — often used with out <they pad out their bibliographies — J. P. Kenyon> V. noun Etymology: imitative Date: 1594 a soft muffled or slapping sound
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.