dribble

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
: to issue sporadically and in small bits
2
: to let or cause to fall in drops little by little
3
a
: 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
4
a
: to dribble a ball or puck
b
: to proceed by dribbling
c
of a ball : to move with short bounces
dribbler noun

dribble

2 of 2

noun

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
dribbly 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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The Pacers then dribbled out the clock to clinch the important win. Anthony Chiang, Miami Herald, 7 Apr. 2024 In the past decade, basketball has changed in ways that are well suited to the women’s game: three-point shooting is emphasized, with the players spread out across the floor; the pace is fast, so big players who can dribble and move and pass are at a premium. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 6 Apr. 2024 Gil dribbled the ball into the box before passing to Nacho Gil, whose shot was blocked by Kahlina. Observer Wire Reports, Charlotte Observer, 6 Apr. 2024 Last season ended in Utica thanks to a stunning individual effort from Cristhian Segura, who dribbled past the entire KC defense to score a sudden-death winner in overtime. Nathan Dunn, Kansas City Star, 1 Apr. 2024 Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, right, dribbles the ball around Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 31, 2024, in New York. Khobi Price, Orange County Register, 31 Mar. 2024 The senior dribbled in and beat the Northwest goalkeeper to the short, right side from seven yards out to up the Owl’s lead to 4-1. Charles Baggarly, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 30 Mar. 2024 Goon One thing Dutcher won’t have to find in the transfer portal is a 7-footer who can dribble, shoot 3s, run the floor and block shots. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Mar. 2024 Pete Maravich first dribbled a basketball on the blacktops of Aliquippa, northwest of the city. Billy Witz, New York Times, 22 Mar. 2024
Noun
Jones is often the first Kings’ player out on the floor before games doing a rigorous shooting routine that includes shooting 3s off the dribble and spotting up, along with an array of moves in the lane. Chris Biderman, Sacramento Bee, 8 Apr. 2024 And players make step-in 3s at a notably higher rate than off the dribble or running off a screen. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Apr. 2024 In Rozier’s 30 games with the Hornets this season before the Jan. 23 trade, more than half of his three-point attempts came off the dribble — attempting 4.8 pull-up threes to just 2.9 catch-and-shoot threes per game. Anthony Chiang, Miami Herald, 3 Apr. 2024 The city known for excess and summer pool parties began counting every drop, even the small dribbles flowing onto asphalt. Daniel Rothberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Mar. 2024 The guard dribbled at the top of the key, then passed to his brother, 6-foot-7 senior power forward Nick Corbett, who took two dribbles before giving it back to his sibling. Darren Sabedra, The Mercury News, 1 Mar. 2024 Mustangs point guard Cayne Woodland took Patterson Mill’s leading scorer Drew Pape off the dribble on the opening possession, burying a baseline 12-footer. Sam Cohn, Baltimore Sun, 1 Feb. 2024 The unselfish play started early with senior guard Emma Hendricks passing up an open shot off a shot-fake and dribble to find Montgomery underneath for an easy lay-in and 4-2 lead. Paul Shepherd, The Indianapolis Star, 31 Jan. 2024 Rozier is also an above average player in isolation situations, using the dribble to create for himself and others. Anthony Chiang, Miami Herald, 24 Jan. 2024

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

frequentative of drib to dribble

First Known Use

Verb

circa 1589, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

circa 1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dribble was circa 1589

Dictionary Entries Near dribble

Cite this Entry

“Dribble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dribble. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

dribble

1 of 2 verb
drib·​ble ˈdrib-əl How to pronounce dribble (audio)
dribbled; dribbling -(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce dribble (audio)
1
: to fall or flow or let fall in small drops : trickle
2
3
: to move forward by tapping, bouncing, or kicking
dribble a basketball
dribble a puck
dribbler noun

dribble

2 of 2 noun
1
: a small trickling flow
2
: an act or instance of dribbling a ball or puck

More from Merriam-Webster on dribble

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