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

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

to wade in a puddle: The children were puddling.
to be or become puddled: The backyard was puddling.

Origin of puddle

1300–50; (noun) Middle English puddel, podel, pothel, apparently diminutive of Old English pudd ditch, furrow (akin to Low German pudel puddle); (v.) late Middle English pothelen, derivative of the noun
Related formspud·dler, nounpud·dly, adjectiveun·pud·dled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for puddle

pond, quagmire, plash

Examples from the Web for puddle

Contemporary Examples of puddle

Historical Examples of puddle

  • You're in the middle of a puddle now, but when you get over dreaming I'd like to mop it up.

  • He had been lying in a puddle, and, like little Fay, he preferred "a dly place."

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

  • His grey hair was straggling into the puddle around his head.


    Emile Zola

  • The "pond" was a puddle, perhaps twenty feet across, left by the outgoing tide.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • As for the Princess, she was as happy as a duck in a puddle.

British Dictionary definitions for puddle



a small pool of water, esp of rain
a small pool of any liquid
a worked mixture of wet clay and sand that is impervious to water and is used to line a pond or canal
rowing the patch of eddying water left by the blade of an oar after completion of a stroke


(tr) to make (clay, etc) into puddle
(tr) to subject (iron) to puddling
(intr) to dabble or wade in puddles, mud, or shallow water
(intr) to mess about
Derived Formspuddler, nounpuddly, adjective

Word Origin for puddle

C14 podel, diminutive of Old English pudd ditch, of obscure origin
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 puddle

early 14c., "small pool of dirty water," frequentative or diminutive of Old English pudd "ditch," related to German pudeln "to splash in water" (cf. poodle). Originally used of pools and ponds as well.


"to dabble in water, poke in mud," mid-15c., from puddle (n.); extended sense in iron manufacture is "turn and stir (molten iron) in a furnace." Related: Puddled; puddling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper