[ nood-ling ]

  1. present participle of noodle4: I learned the hard way why noodling for catfish is considered dangerous.

  1. the act of catching fish, especially catfish, with only one’s bare hands: Some states have banned noodling, citing the dangers of the activity as well as concern over sustainability of the fish populations.

Origin of noodling

First recorded in 1935–40; noodl(e)4 + -ing1

Words Nearby noodling Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use noodling in a sentence

  • She pleased their mother by trying to teach them to read and write, and they went noodling together, or gathering wild flowers.

    The Black Opal | Katharine Susannah Prichard
  • Young ganders and any old ganders or geese which are to be marketed are used for noodling.

    Ducks and Geese | Harry M. Lamon
  • noodling geese is a method of hand feeding which has for its purpose the production of the best fattened geese.

    Ducks and Geese | Harry M. Lamon

British Dictionary definitions for noodling


/ (ˈnuːdlɪŋ) /

  1. slang aimless musical improvisation

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