drib·​ble | \ ˈdri-bəl How to pronounce dribble (audio) \
dribbled; dribbling\ ˈdri-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce dribble (audio) \

Definition of dribble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to issue sporadically and in small bits
2 : to let or cause to fall in drops little by little
3a : to propel by successive slight taps or bounces with hand, foot, or stick dribble a basketball dribble a puck
b : to hit (a ball) without much force so that it bounces slowly along the ground

intransitive verb

1 : to fall or flow in drops or in a thin intermittent stream : trickle
2 : to let saliva trickle from the corner of the mouth : drool
3 : to come or issue in piecemeal or desultory fashion
4a : to dribble a ball or puck
b : to proceed by dribbling
c of a ball : to move with short bounces



Definition of dribble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a tiny or insignificant bit or quantity
2 : a small trickling stream or flow
3 : an act, instance, or manner of dribbling a ball or puck

Other Words from dribble


dribbler \ ˈdri-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce dribble (audio) \ noun


dribbly \ ˈdri-​b(ə-​)lē How to pronounce dribble (audio) \ adjective

Examples of dribble in a Sentence

Verb Juice dribbled down his chin. She accidentally dribbled wine onto the rug. Dribble olive oil over the warm bread before serving. She dribbled across the basketball court. He skillfully dribbled the soccer ball towards the goal. Noun He wiped a dribble of juice from the corner of the baby's mouth. She gave the ball a dribble before passing it. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Some Nutella will naturally dribble down your chin; reserve this. The New Yorker, 2 May 2022 Desperate for someone who could dribble and run an offense, the front office acted quickly, cheaply acquiring 35-year-old Rondo. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 7 Feb. 2022 On the first, Primo lost control of the ball trying to dribble behind his back, resulting in a turnover. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 9 Apr. 2022 The Tide was able to dribble it out after a jump ball. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, 9 Mar. 2022 Coby White scrambled to dribble up the court in transition, only to have his pocket picked for a transition layup. Julia Poe, chicagotribune.com, 10 Mar. 2022 Wahab went from barely able to dribble to hitting mid-range jumpers and spin moves. Ryan Mcfadden, baltimoresun.com, 27 Dec. 2021 With just over a minute to go and the Aztecs trailing by a point, coach Brian Dutcher signaled for senior point guard Trey Pulliam to dribble off a high ball screen by center Nathan Mensah. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Nov. 2021 Meanwhile, this and other remnants of the New Deal will likely continue to dribble away. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 2 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun He’s one of the few Suns who can attack the rim off the dribble, and the team needs him to do it. Greg Moore, The Arizona Republic, 9 May 2022 The 6-foot-4 freshman devastates defenders off the dribble and is an inventive playmaker, both for himself and teammates. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 6 May 2022 Just like that play seven years ago against the Badgers where Allen drove to the basket, Budenholzer singled out Allen for excellence at playing basketball off the dribble. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 25 Apr. 2022 Each time the Cavs tried to surge back in the fourth quarter, Young responded, drilling long-range 3s, beating multiple defenders off the dribble, knocking down runners or flipping in layups. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 15 Apr. 2022 During the postseason, Kennerly found success attacking the basket, also showcasing her ability to pull up off the dribble. Jacob Steinberg, Baltimore Sun, 11 Apr. 2022 Ellis was Louisville's best playmaker off the dribble, but his decision-making often was erratic. Brett Dawson, The Courier-Journal, 31 Mar. 2022 Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun can both score in bunches, shoot from the perimeter and beat defenders off the dribble. John Marshall, ajc, 28 Mar. 2022 Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun can both score in bunches, shoot from the perimeter and beat defenders off the dribble. John Marshall, chicagotribune.com, 28 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dribble.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of dribble


circa 1589, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


circa 1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dribble


frequentative of drib to dribble

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Time Traveler for dribble

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The first known use of dribble was circa 1589

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dribble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dribble. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for dribble


drib·​ble | \ ˈdri-bəl How to pronounce dribble (audio) \
dribbled; dribbling

Kids Definition of dribble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to fall or let fall in small drops : trickle Water dribbled out of the crack.
2 : to let saliva or other liquid drip or trickle from the mouth
3 : to move forward by bouncing, tapping, or kicking dribble a basketball



Kids Definition of dribble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a trickling flow
2 : the act of moving a ball or puck forward by bouncing, kicking, or tapping it

More from Merriam-Webster on dribble

Nglish: Translation of dribble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dribble for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dribble


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