verb (used with object), dan·dled, dan·dling.

to move (a baby, child, etc.) lightly up and down, as on one's knee or in one's arms.
to pet; pamper.

Origin of dandle

1520–30; dand- (obscurely akin to the base of French dandiner to dandle, se dandiner to waddle, and related Romance words) + -le
Related formsdan·dler, nounun·dan·dled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dandle

fondle, nuzzle, play, toy, love, dance, toss, amuse, cosset, pet, cradle, rock, sport

Examples from the Web for dandle

Historical Examples of dandle

British Dictionary definitions for dandle


verb (tr)

to move (a young child, etc) up and down (on the knee or in the arms)
to pet; fondle
Derived Formsdandler, noun

Word Origin for dandle

C16: of uncertain origin
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

Word Origin and History for dandle

1520s, of unknown origin. Perhaps somehow felt to be imitative. Cf. Italian dondolare "to dandle, swing," and French dandiner, from Old French dandin "small bell," imitative of its sound. Related: Dandled; dandling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper