dog paddle


: an elementary swimming stroke in which the arms paddle in the water and the legs maintain a kicking motion
dog-paddle intransitive verb

Examples of dog paddle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some wear their fatigues inside out, identifying them as Marines who are just learning to swim and flailing the length of the pool in a mix of dog paddle and haphazard overhand stroke. Lolita C. Baldor, Fortune, 8 Oct. 2023 In any case, this definitely isn’t a show that invites newbies to just plunge in and dog paddle for dear life. Mike D'angelo, Chron, 23 Nov. 2022 Competitive pooches can win prizes in a swimsuit contest, diving, dog paddle race, and a pet and owner look-a-like contest. Dallas News, 6 Aug. 2021 Nearby, my husband coached our youngest into her first dog paddle. Erica Pearson, Star Tribune, 13 July 2021 After leveling out his dog paddle, O’Malley brags without explanation about being the only talk-show host with his own river. Pablo Goldstein, Vulture, 15 June 2021 New swimmers often graduate from dog paddle to breaststroke, particularly in open water. Jen Murphy, WSJ, 29 May 2021 Many of us will be doing the dog paddle to stay afloat. Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2021 In Ontario, one family had no idea what to do about a moose doing the dog paddle in their pool. Rachel Levin,, 3 June 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dog paddle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1874, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dog paddle was in 1874

Dictionary Entries Near dog paddle

Cite this Entry

“Dog paddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

dog paddle

: a simple swimming stroke in which the arms paddle in the water and the legs make a kicking motion
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