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

to walk with short steps, swaying or rocking from side to side, as a duck.
to move in any similar, slow, rocking manner; wobble: The ship waddled into port.


an act or instance of waddling, especially a waddling gait.

Origin of waddle

1350–1400; Middle English; see wade, -le; compare German watteln
Related formswad·dler, nounwad·dling·ly, adverbwad·dly, adjectiveun·wad·dling, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for waddled

totter, wobble, toddle, wiggle, sway, shuffle, rock

Examples from the Web for waddled

Contemporary Examples of waddled

Historical Examples of waddled

  • Whereat she waddled to the table to wait for the hot cakes to arrive.

    The Gorgeous Girl

    Nalbro Bartley

  • She waddled to the door and Olive followed her meekly, but she could not keep her lips from smiling.

    Olive in Italy

    Moray Dalton

  • The Baroness, to tell the truth, waddled rather than stepped to the rostrum.

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope

  • Ruth ran up-stairs, and Fuller waddled into the room where Reuben waited.

    Aunt Rachel

    David Christie Murray

  • He caught at the bell-pull in passing, gave it a tug, and waddled off to his bedroom.

    Despair's Last Journey

    David Christie Murray

British Dictionary definitions for waddled


verb (intr)

to walk with short steps, rocking slightly from side to side


a swaying gait or motion
Derived Formswaddler, nounwaddling, adjectivewaddly, adjective

Word Origin for waddle

C16: probably frequentative of wade
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 waddled



"to walk with short steps," 1590s, frequentative of wade. Related: Waddled; waddling. The noun is recorded from 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper