- to draw or scribble idly: He doodled during the whole lecture.
- to waste (time) in aimless or foolish activity.
- Dialect. to deceive; cheat.
- a design, figure, or the like, made by idle scribbling.
- Archaic. a foolish or silly person.
Origin of doodle1
1625–30 in archaic sense “a fool”; 1935–40 in current senses; compare Low German dudeltopf simpleton
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- to scribble or draw aimlessly
- to play or improvise idly
- (intr often foll by away) US to dawdle or waste time
- a shape, picture, etc, drawn aimlessly
C20: perhaps from C17 doodle a foolish person, but influenced in meaning by dawdle; compare Low German dudeltopf simpleton
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 doodler
"scrawl aimlessly," 1935, from dialectal doodle, dudle "fritter away time, trifle," or associated with dawdle. It was a noun meaning "simple fellow" from 1620s.
LONGFELLOW: That's a name we made up back home for people who make foolish designs on paper when they're thinking. It's called doodling. Almost everybody's a doodler. Did you ever see a scratch pad in a telephone booth? People draw the most idiotic pictures when they're thinking. Dr. Von Holler, here, could probably think up a long name for it, because he doodles all the time. ["Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," screenplay by Robert Riskin, 1936; based on "Opera Hat," serialized in "American Magazine" beginning May 1935, by Clarence Aldington Kelland]
Related: Doodled; Doodling.
Doodle Sack. A bagpipe. Dutch. -- Also the private parts of a woman. ["Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1796]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper