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noodle

1
[ nood-l ]
/ ˈnud l /
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noun

a narrow strip of unleavened egg dough that has been rolled thin and dried, boiled, and served alone or in soups, casseroles, etc.; a ribbon-shaped pasta.

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Origin of noodle

1
First recorded in 1770–80; from German Nudel

Definition for noodle (2 of 4)

noodle2
[ nood-l ]
/ ˈnud l /

noun

Slang.
  1. the head.
  2. the mind.
a fool or simpleton.

Origin of noodle

2
First recorded in 1745–55; perhaps variant of noddle (with oo from fool1)

Definition for noodle (3 of 4)

noodle3
[ nood-l ]
/ ˈnud l /

verb (used without object), noo·dled, noo·dling.

to improvise a musical passage in a casual manner, especially as a warm-up exercise.
Informal.
  1. to play; toy: to noodle with numbers as a hobby.
  2. to improvise, experiment, or think creatively: The writers noodled for a week and came up with a better idea for the ad campaign.

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

Informal.
  1. to manipulate or tamper with: She denied that she had noodled the statistics to get a favorable result.
  2. to make or devise freely as an exercise or experiment (sometimes followed by up): The architects noodled up a model of a solar house.

Verb Phrases

noodle around, Informal. to play, experiment, or improvise.

Origin of noodle

3
An Americanism dating back to 1935–40; origin uncertain

Definition for noodle (4 of 4)

noodle4
[ nood-l ]
/ ˈnud l /

verb (used with or without object), noo·dled, noo·dling.Chiefly Midland U.S.

to catch fish, especially catfish, with only one’s bare hands: We watched him noodle a 62-pound flathead catfish.Their video on how to noodle for some pretty monstrous catfish includes footage from several rivers in Oklahoma.

Origin of noodle

4
First recorded in 1920–25; origin unknown

OTHER WORDS FROM noodle

noo·dler, nounnoo·dling, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for noodle

British Dictionary definitions for noodle (1 of 3)

noodle1
/ (ˈnuːdəl) /

noun

(often plural) a ribbon-like strip of pasta: noodles are often served in soup or with a sauce

Word Origin for noodle

C18: from German Nudel, origin obscure

British Dictionary definitions for noodle (2 of 3)

noodle2
/ (ˈnuːdəl) /

noun

US and Canadian a slang word for head (def. 1)
a simpleton

Word Origin for noodle

C18: perhaps a blend of noddle 1 and noodle 1

British Dictionary definitions for noodle (3 of 3)

noodle3
/ (ˈnuːdəl) /

verb

(intr) slang to improvise aimlessly on a musical instrument
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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