- a short, flat bladed oar for propelling and steering a canoe or small boat, usually held by both hands and moved more or less through a vertical arc.
- any of various similar implements used for mixing, stirring, or beating.
- any of various similar but smaller implements with a short handle for holding in one hand and a wide or rounded blade, used for a racket in table tennis, paddle tennis, etc.
- such an implement or a similarly shaped makeshift one, used to spank or beat someone.
- an implement used for beating garments while washing them in running water, as in a stream.
- Also called float, floatboard. a blade of a paddle wheel.
- paddle wheel.
- any of the blades by which a water wheel is turned.
- a flipper or limb of a penguin, turtle, whale, etc.
- an act of paddling.
- Also pattle. British Dialect. a small spade with a long handle, used to dig up thistles.
- (in a gate of a lock or sluice) a panel that slides to permit the passage of water.
- to propel or travel in a canoe or the like by using a paddle.
- to row lightly or gently with oars.
- to move by means of paddle wheels, as a steamer.
- to propel with a paddle: to paddle a canoe.
- to spank or beat with or as with a paddle.
- to stir, mix, or beat with or as with a paddle
- to convey by paddling, as a canoe.
- to hit (a table-tennis ball or the like) with a paddle.
- paddle one's own canoe. canoe(def 6).
Origin of paddle1
- to move the feet or hands playfully in shallow water; dabble.
- to toy with the fingers.
- to toddle.
Origin of paddle2
Examples from the Web for paddle
Others plan where to paddle into the surf off Black's Beach to catch a wave when the big breakers start rolling in.Finding Food Heaven on the Cali Coast
Jane & Michael Stern
August 17, 2014
Ever obliging, Springsteen then flexed all the right things on a paddle board.Bruce Springsteen’s Bond Moment: The Boss’ Body Beautiful at 64
July 25, 2014
His paddle had “FAH-Q” painted on one side, and “O.B./Badass” painted on the other.‘Dazed and Confused’ 20th Anniversary: 20 Craziest Facts About the Cult Classic
September 24, 2013
I have good balance, but it was basically the first time I had ever been on a paddle board.Off the Hook: Eric Young’s Craziest Shark Catches (Video)
August 5, 2013
What do you call it when a husband beats his wife with a paddle for disobeying him?Spanking for Jesus: Inside the Unholy World of ‘Christian Domestic Discipline’
June 19, 2013
It was laid by the Monarch, a paddle steamer which had been fitted for the work.Heroes of the Telegraph
Neither of them spoke, and the only sound was the swishing of the paddle.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
Then, setting the canoe into the water, he began to paddle back.
"One of us might paddle the canoe to the foot of the cliff," went on Frank.
Then, without a word, they resumed their steady, easy swing of the paddle.One Day's Courtship
- a short light oar with a flat blade at one or both ends, used without a rowlock to propel a canoe or small boat
- Also called: float a blade of a water wheel or paddle wheel
- a period of paddlingto go for a paddle upstream
- a paddle wheel used to propel a boat
- (as modifier)a paddle steamer
- the sliding panel in a lock or sluicegate that regulates the level or flow of water
- any of various instruments shaped like a paddle and used for beating, mixing, etc
- a table-tennis bat
- the flattened limb of a seal, turtle, or similar aquatic animal, specialized for swimming
- to propel (a canoe, small boat, etc) with a paddle
- paddle one's own canoe
- to be self-sufficient
- to mind one's own business
- (tr) to convey by paddlingwe paddled him to the shore
- (tr) to stir or mix with or as if with a paddle
- to row (a boat) steadily, esp (of a racing crew) to row firmly but not at full pressure
- (intr) (of steamships) to be propelled by paddle wheels
- (intr) to swim with short rapid strokes, like a dog
- (tr) US and Canadian informal to spank
- to walk or play barefoot in shallow water, mud, etc
- to dabble the fingers, hands, or feet in water
- to walk unsteadily, like a baby
- (tr) archaic to fondle with the fingers
- the act of paddling in water
Word Origin and History for paddle
c.1400, padell "small spade," from Medieval Latin padela, of uncertain origin, perhaps from Latin patella "small pan, little dish, plate," diminutive of patina (see pan (n.)).
Meaning "short oar with a wide blade" is from 1620s. As an instrument used for beating clothes (and slaves, and schoolboys), it is recorded from 1828, American English. Paddle-ball attested from 1935.
"to beat with a paddle, spank," 1856, from paddle (n.). Related: Paddled; paddling.
"to move in water by means of paddles," 1670s, from paddle (n.). To paddle one's (own) canoe "do for oneself" is from 1828.
Idioms and Phrases with paddle
In addition to the idiom beginning with paddle
- paddle one's own canoe
- up the creek (without a paddle)