one of a breed of very active dogs, probably originating in Germany but regarded as the national dog of France, having long, thick, frizzy or curly hair usually trimmed in standard patterns, occurring in three varieties (standard, miniature, and toy) differing only in size, and originally used as a water retriever.

Origin of poodle

1815–25; < German Pudel, short for Pudelhund, equivalent to pudel(n) to splash (see puddle) + Hund hound1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for poodle

Contemporary Examples of poodle

Historical Examples of poodle

  • Mrs. Ranny asked with an enthusiasm hitherto reserved for her poodle.


    Alice Hegan Rice

  • This trainer of bull-dogs was the submissive slave of a poodle.

    Ten Tales

    Franois Coppe

  • The poodle remained with him a day or two, and then made his escape.

    Minnie's Pet Dog

    Madeline Leslie

  • Nor is this a solitary instance of the extraordinary sagacity of the poodle.

    Anecdotes of Dogs

    Edward Jesse

  • The sagacity of the poodle is strongly shown by the following fact.

    Anecdotes of Dogs

    Edward Jesse

British Dictionary definitions for poodle



a breed of dog, with varieties of different sizes, having curly hair, which is often clipped from ribs to tail for showing: originally bred to hunt waterfowl
a person who is servile; lackey

Word Origin for poodle

C19: from German Pudel, short for Pudelhund, from pudeln to splash + Hund dog; the dogs were formerly trained as water dogs; see puddle, hound 1
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 poodle

1808, from German Pudel, shortened form of Pudelhund "water dog," from Low German Pudel "puddle" (cf. pudeln "to splash;" see puddle (n.)) + German Hund "hound" (see hound (n.)). Probably so called because the dog was used to hunt water fowl. Figurative sense of "lackey" (chiefly British) is attested from 1907. Poodle-faker, British army slang for "ingratiating male," is from 1902, likely euphemistic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper