verb (used with or without object), doo·dled, doo·dling.

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.

Nearby words

  1. doob,
  2. doobie,
  3. dooced,
  4. doodad,
  5. doodah,
  6. doodle-bug,
  7. doodlebug,
  8. doodlesack,
  9. doodly-squat,
  10. doofus

Origin of doodle

1625–30 in archaic sense “a fool”; 1935–40 in current senses; compare Low German dudeltopf simpleton

Related formsdoo·dler, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for doodler



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
Derived Formsdoodler, noun

Word Origin for doodle

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


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper