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  1. a red variety of ocher, used for marking sheep, coloring, etc.
verb (used with object), rud·dled, rud·dling.
  1. to mark or color with ruddle.
Also raddle, reddle.

Origin of ruddle

1530–40; dial. rud (see rudd) + -le
Related formsun·rud·dled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ruddle

Historical Examples

  • Ruddle, however, saw the boy, and was convinced of his sincerity.

    Cornish Characters

    S. Baring-Gould

  • The stone, of a red colour, was probably of a material impregnated with the red called “ruddle,” a colour never to be washed out.

    The Cries of London

    John Thomas Smith

  • These rude stones are very often smeared with ruddle or red ochre.

  • Lemnian earth, ruddle, and very many minerals do this, and yet they are fatuously said to attract.

  • However, Ruddle promised to call on the old gentleman, whose name was Bligh, and whose house was Botathan.

    Cornish Characters

    S. Baring-Gould

British Dictionary definitions for ruddle


raddle or reddle

  1. a red ochre, used esp to mark sheep
  1. (tr) to mark (sheep) with ruddle

Word Origin

C16: diminutive formed from Old English rudu redness; see rudd
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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