paddle

noun
pad·​dle | \ ˈpa-dᵊl How to pronounce paddle (audio) \

Definition of paddle

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a usually wooden implement that has a long handle and a broad flattened blade and that is used to propel and steer a small craft (such as a canoe)
b : an implement often with a short handle and a broad flat blade that is used for stirring, mixing, or hitting especially : one used to hit a ball in any of various games (such as table tennis)
c : a small usually numbered sign that is raised by a bidder at an auction to signal a bid
d : a flat electrode that is the part of a defibrillator placed on the chest of a patient and through which a shock of electricity is discharged
2a : any of the broad boards at the circumference of a paddle wheel or waterwheel
b : any of the broad blades attached to a shaft (as in an ice cream machine) and used for stirring
3 : a computer input device with a dial used to control linear movement of a cursor on a computer display

paddle

verb (1)
paddled; paddling\ ˈpad-​liŋ How to pronounce paddle (audio) , ˈpa-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of paddle (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to go on or through water by or as if by means of a paddle or paddle wheel

transitive verb

1a : to propel by a paddle
b : to transport in a paddled craft paddled us to shore in his canoe
2a : to beat or stir with or as if with a paddle (as in washing or dyeing)
b : to punish by or as if by beating with a paddle

paddle

verb (2)
paddled; paddling

Definition of paddle (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to move the hands or feet about in shallow water
2 : toddle
3 archaic : to use the hands or fingers in toying or caressing

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from paddle

Noun

paddle-like \ ˈpa-​dᵊl-​ˌlīk How to pronounce paddle (audio) \ or paddlelike adjective
a paddle-like tail paddlelike forelimbs

Examples of paddle in a Sentence

Noun Use the mixer's paddle attachment to mix the dough. The potter used a paddle to shape the clay.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Susan Sarandon, Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller and Marisa Tomei are among the familiar names to pick up a ping-pong paddle. Melissa Ruggieri, ajc, "From Outkast to Gladys Knight, musical landmarks abound in Atlanta," 18 Jan. 2021 Lopez even posed for an Instagram photo on a paddle board while wearing the halter swimsuit. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jennifer Lopez Rocks a High-Rise, Low-Cut Swimsuit for a Beach Day in Turks and Caicos," 16 Jan. 2021 The tail is more like a paddle than what’s seen in other carnivorous dinosaurs and would have been suited to swishy, side-to-side motions that propelled Spinosaurus through the water. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Top Ten Dinosaur Discoveries of 2020," 23 Dec. 2020 Aside from the leisurely delay between tapping a paddle and the transmission moving a cog—a Porsche PDK, this is not—the action is standard practice. Jonathon Ramsey, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2020 Kia Niro Hybrid Trades Power for Efficiency," 2 Dec. 2020 In Central Florida, take advantage of the mild fall weather to go for a hike, a paddle or simply have an outdoor picnic. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "Skip shopping: How to #OptOutside this Black Friday in Central Florida," 25 Nov. 2020 Dewayne couldn’t recall whether Rush used a belt or a paddle to strike him. Dallas News, "Handcuffed, tied down, beaten: Pastor Rickie Rush faces new allegations of abusing children," 25 Oct. 2020 The day would consist of breakfast on the beach, a leisurely three-mile paddle to our next campsite, and an afternoon of swimming and playing in the sun. Krista Langlois, Outside Online, "The Secret to Happy Family Camping Is a Canoe," 15 Oct. 2020 Jefferson spiked a paddle that hit the concrete just right and bounced 20 feet into the air and hit a hotel room window. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Inside the NBA bubble, pickleball battles have become the stuff of legend," 7 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Horn was first to paddle across to Rotmo and Gamme. Adventure, "The untold story of the boldest polar expedition of modern times," 23 Dec. 2020 In other ways, Brown encourages Democrats to paddle right. Joe Garofoli, SFChronicle.com, "Jerry Brown’s advice to Joe Biden: Follow FDR. And progressives should ‘chill’," 3 Dec. 2020 The channel’s calm waters, parallel to the Potomac River, are used by kayakers, paddle boarders and sailboaters. Washington Post, "The Army wants water restrictions near the Wharf. Residents and D.C. leaders call it an overreach.," 21 Dec. 2020 The notion of outfitting the inventor of the doggie paddle with a personal floatation device may seem a little absurd, but there are plenty of reasons to consider a PFD for your pooch. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "How to Keep Your Dog Safe on the Water," 22 Nov. 2020 Snowmobilers who drive big mountain sleds with tons of horsepower and paddle tracks scoff at visible water on the ice. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "The first step in extracting your snowmachine from overflow: Avoid overflow," 26 Dec. 2020 Third-row seats, bike racks, multi-mode vehicle dynamics, launch control, paddle shifters, low-range 4x4, seat massagers, 300-mile EV range: just a few of the features people pay scads for and use rarely, if ever. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2021 Kia Sorento: Finally, an SUV That’s the Right Size for Families," 16 Dec. 2020 Scrape down the sides of the bowl and your mixer attachment (paddle on a stand mixer, beaters on a handheld model) often, especially in between the addition of different ingredients. Washington Post, "7 smart tips for baking better cookies," 1 Dec. 2020 What better way to fight the pandemic blues then to paddle out and to the surf the waves of the Golden Coast in this technicolor longboard. Madeline Swanson, Vogue, "Vogue Editors Share Their Favorite Hometown Stores to Shop for the Holidays," 24 Nov. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of paddle

Noun

circa 1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

1637, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Verb (2)

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for paddle

Noun

Middle English padell spade-shaped tool for cleaning a plow

Verb (2)

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about paddle

Statistics for paddle

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Paddle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paddle. Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for paddle

paddle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of paddle

: a long, usually wooden pole that has a wide, flat part at the end and is used to move and steer a small boat (such as a canoe)
US : an object with a short handle and a wide, flat part that is used to hit the ball in various games (such as table tennis)
: any one of various tools or devices that are wide, flat, and thin

paddle

verb
pad·​dle | \ ˈpa-dᵊl How to pronounce paddle (audio) \
paddled; paddling

Kids Definition of paddle

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to move or drive forward with an instrument like an oar or with short quick movements of hands and feet
2 : to stir, mix, or beat with a paddle

paddle

noun

Kids Definition of paddle (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an instrument like an oar used in moving and steering a small boat (as a canoe)
2 : an implement having a broad flat end and used for beating, mixing, or hitting
3 : one of the broad boards at the outer edge of a waterwheel or a paddle wheel

paddle

verb
paddled; paddling

Kids Definition of paddle (Entry 3 of 3)

: to move or splash about in the water

paddle

noun
pad·​dle | \ ˈpad-ᵊl How to pronounce paddle (audio) \

Medical Definition of paddle

: a flat electrode that is the part of a defibrillator placed on the chest of a patient and through which a shock of electricity is discharged

called also paddle electrode

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on paddle

What made you want to look up paddle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!