[ dib-uh l ]
/ ˈdɪb əl /


Also dib·ber [dib-er] /ˈdɪb ər/. a small, handheld, pointed implement for making holes in soil for planting seedlings, bulbs, etc.

verb (used with object), dib·bled, dib·bling.

to make a hole (in the ground) with or as if with a dibble.
to set (plants) in holes made with a dibble.

verb (used without object), dib·bled, dib·bling.

to work with a dibble.

Origin of dibble

1325–75; late Middle English, perhaps akin to dib
Related formsdib·bler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for dibbler (1 of 3)


/ (ˈdɪbəl) /


Also called (esp Brit): dibber (ˈdɪbə) a small hand tool used to make holes in the ground for planting or transplanting bulbs, seeds, or roots


to make a hole in (the ground) with a dibble
to plant (bulbs, seeds, etc) with a dibble
Derived Formsdibbler, noun

Word Origin for dibble

C15: of obscure origin

British Dictionary definitions for dibbler (2 of 3)


/ (ˈdɪbəl) /

verb (intr)

a variant of dib
a less common word for dabble

British Dictionary definitions for dibbler (3 of 3)


/ (ˈdɪbəl) /


British slang a policeman

Word Origin for dibble

C20: allusion to the police officer of that name in the children's animated cartoon Top Cat
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 dibbler



"tool to make a hole in the soil (as to plant seeds)," mid-15c., probably from Middle English dibben (perhaps akin to dip) + instrumental suffix -le. The verb is from 1580s. Related: Dibbled; dibbling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper