poo·​dle ˈpü-dᵊl How to pronounce poodle (audio)
: any of a breed of intelligent dogs that have a curly dense solid-colored coat and that are grouped into standard, miniature, and toy sizes which are often considered separate breeds compare toy poodle
: a fabric with a nubby or coarsely looped surface that resembles a poodle's coat

called also poodle cloth

Examples of poodle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Missy, her mini poodle, marks their arrival with a chorus of barks, but her yips are soon drowned out by the cacophony of children. Grace Toohey, Los Angeles Times, 1 Jan. 2024 The male is predominately poodle, is almost 2 years old, and weighs under 15 pounds. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, 8 Jan. 2024 The final touch: A black handbag shaped like a poodle. Esme Mazzeo, Peoplemag, 12 Jan. 2024 Meanwhile, Sherlock was having better luck at socializing with Nina, a shy 4-year-old mixed breed who was tentatively sniffing at my corgi while also exchanging glances with a poodle a few feet away. Stefano Pitrelli, Washington Post, 31 Dec. 2023 She is seated on the floor, reaching one hand toward a black poodle, signaling her attentive companion to remain still, while a biscuit balances on the dog’s nose. Robert L. Pincus, WSJ, 29 Dec. 2023 Just like a teacup poodle or a tiny talking shell, the JBuds Mini are a pint-size pocketful of easy, convenient delight. WIRED, 10 Nov. 2023 Henri made a fuss over my mother’s poodle, traded bewhiskered Walloon jokes with my father, flung himself into a lawn chair and rhapsodized about the purity of the air, laughed and laughed at everything and nothing; Marie-Céleste busied herself with the dishes. Lucy Sante, The New Yorker, 11 Nov. 2023 In her pre-groom photo, the poodle is covered in a thick, dirty, and unruly coat, while the post-groom pictures show a slender, clean dog that can move freely. Kelli Bender, Peoplemag, 10 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


German Pudel, short for Pudelhund, from pudeln to splash + Hund dog

First Known Use

1773, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of poodle was in 1773

Dictionary Entries Near poodle

Cite this Entry

“Poodle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poodle. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


poo·​dle ˈpüd-ᵊl How to pronounce poodle (audio)
: any of a breed of active intelligent dogs that have thick curly coats of solid color and that occur in three sizes

from German Pudel, a shortened form of Pudelhund "poodle," from pudeln "to splash" and Hund "dog"

Word Origin
Poodles often have their coats cut in different patterns. Both their haircuts and their name go back to a time when poodles were kept not as house pets but as retrievers. Poodles were especially good at retrieving game in the water. The dogs were good swimmers, and they had heavy coats that kept them warm even in icy water. Hunters cut their dogs' hair shorter in a pattern that would make swimming easier. Cutting poodles' hair in a pattern soon became a tradition. The German name for this skillful swimmer was Pudelhund. This word combined pudeln, meaning "to splash," and hund, meaning "dog." It was then shortened to Pudel, which English borrowed as poodle.

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