pud·​dle | \ˈpə-dᵊl \

Definition of puddle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a very small pool of usually dirty or muddy water

2a : an earthy mixture (as of clay, sand, and gravel) worked while wet into a compact mass that becomes impervious to water when dry

b : a thin mixture of soil and water for puddling plants


puddled; puddling\ ˈpəd-​liŋ , ˈpə-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of puddle (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to dabble or wade around in a puddle

transitive verb

1 : to make muddy or turbid : muddle

2a : to work (a wet mixture of earth or concrete) into a dense impervious mass

b : to subject (iron) to the process of puddling

3a : to strew with puddles

b : to compact (soil) especially by working when too wet

c : to dip the roots of (a plant) in a thin mud before transplanting

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from puddle


puddler \ ˈpəd-​lər , ˈpə-​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

Synonyms for puddle

Synonyms: Noun

billabong [Australian], mere [chiefly British], pool, stank [British dialect], well

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of puddle in a Sentence


She accidentally stepped in a puddle and got her shoes wet. After the storm, the road was covered in deep puddles.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At its best, the show is a tribute to the ludic impulse that many of us carelessly abandoned back on the elementary school playground, the ability to make a branch or a puddle or a chunk of chalked up pavement into some new thing, some new world. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Review: Mummenschanz Offers Wonder, and a Grumpy Trash Bag," 10 July 2018 Always go slower in wet conditions, leave a bigger gap in front of you, and look for the puddles. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Beer and Bikes in the Black Forest—And All for a Good Cause," 31 May 2018 Cursing under her breath, Lauryn hurried across the street, dodging cars and hopping over the frozen puddles. Wesley Snipes, The Root, "Talon of God," 27 May 2018 The details are riveting and vivid: everything from deers’ wafting strands of hair to the way light bounces off of nearby puddles and the markings on Kratos’ skin appears genuine. Lisa Eadicicco, Time, "The New God of War Game Is Unlike Any You've Played Before," 19 Mar. 2018 The star of the video is the group's dancing, puddle-kicks and all, and the cinematic shots that draw the viewer's attention to different focal points as the K-pop group sings. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "ONF Brightens up The Summer With 'Complete' Music Video: Watch," 8 June 2018 At Baker Park in Frederick, residents rescued koi stranded in puddles in grassy fields after a nearby pond overflowed. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, "‘It was relentless’: Surge of rainwater floods streets, submerges cars in Maryland," 16 May 2018 Cleveland started seven sophomores this season and overcame a three-game suspension to Lopez for lighting his infield on fire while trying to dry up a puddle. Eric Sondheimer, latimes.com, "Boys' volleyball: Southern Section playoff results and updated pairings," 11 May 2018 The series’ very last scene follows her once more striding down a New York street — only this time, no puddles, no tutu. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "Carrie Bradshaw’s Tutu Paradox," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Cast-iron-roasted chicken took a familiar comfort to a new level, the bird’s tawny skin drizzled with rich jus that puddled into potato gnocchi flecked with Cabot cheddar. Craig Laban, Philly.com, "Craig LaBan's first bite of the Delaware beaches | A dining guide," 15 June 2018 Scientists calculate that up to 250 million beaver ponds once puddled the continent—impounding enough water to submerge Washington, Oregon, and California. Ben Goldfarb, Science | AAAS, "Beaver dams without beavers? Artificial logjams are a popular but controversial restoration tool," 7 June 2018 Believe it or not, the company drew more clients on that infamous October night in 2008 when the Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays kept playing Game 5 of the World Series despite heavy rain and puddling on the infield. Bob Brookover, Philly.com, "Phillies to play at 12:05 today, if rain stops | Extra Innings," 16 May 2018 Rainwater was puddling deeply on the playing surface as the Kiwis did their dance. Alan Dymock, CNN, "From Fiji to fancy dress, how rugby fell in love with the Hong Kong Sevens," 6 Apr. 2018 The steel balconies seemed to sway with the movement of bodies; beer puddled on the floor near the stage where fans were packed tight. Cathy Applefeld Olson, Billboard, "Foo Fighters Christen D.C.'s Newest Venue With Anthemic Hits," 13 Oct. 2017 The cratered outfield grass that puddled at the lightest spring rains has been uprooted. Aaron Randle, kansascity, "Cutting-edge baseball academy about to open at 18th & Vine, but who will come play?," 26 Oct. 2017 There is, however, no runoff, as the spray was more like a mist that occasionally made a rainbow and left sidewalks wet, but not puddled. Gary Warth, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Power-washing a dirty job, but could say lives in hep A outbreak," 29 Sep. 2017 Small shouldered jackets and coats sliced up the spine for movement were paired with hip-slung trousers, puddling at the ankles, and macramé vests trailing strands of fringe (weirdly, macramé is sort of a thing this season). Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "Debuts at Jil Sander and Roberto Cavalli," 24 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'puddle.' 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 puddle


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for puddle


Middle English podel; akin to Low German pudel puddle, Old English pudd ditch

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about puddle

Statistics for puddle

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for puddle

The first known use of puddle was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for puddle



English Language Learners Definition of puddle

: a small amount of water, mud, etc., on the ground


pud·​dle | \ˈpə-dᵊl \

Kids Definition of puddle

: a very small pool of liquid

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on puddle

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


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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