noun (1)
noo·​dle | \ ˈnü-dᵊl How to pronounce noodle (audio) \

Definition of noodle

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a stupid person : simpleton
2 : head, noggin


noun (2)

Definition of noodle (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a food paste made usually with egg and shaped typically in ribbon form
2 : a buoyant, flexible cylinder of polyethylene foam used as an aid in swimming or staying afloat in water Grasp the pool noodle with hands about shoulder-width apart, then extend arms straight out in front of you on the water's surface …Good Housekeeping


noodled; noodling\ ˈnüd-​liŋ How to pronounce noodle (audio) , ˈnü-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of noodle (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to improvise on an instrument in an informal or desultory manner

Examples of noodle in a Sentence

Verb He was just noodling around on the guitar. It's a thought I've been noodling around with for some time.

First Known Use of noodle

Noun (1)

1720, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1779, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1937, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for noodle

Noun (1)

perhaps alteration of noddle

Noun (2)

German Nudel



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Cite this Entry

“Noodle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of noodle

US, informal
: to play a musical instrument in an informal way without playing a particular piece of music
: to think about something in a way that is not very serious


noo·​dle | \ ˈnü-dᵊl How to pronounce noodle (audio) \

Kids Definition of noodle

: a thin often flat strip of fresh or dried dough (as of flour and egg) that is usually boiled

More from Merriam-Webster on noodle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for noodle

Nglish: Translation of noodle for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about noodle

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