• synonyms


verb (used without object), wad·dled, wad·dling.
  1. to walk with short steps, swaying or rocking from side to side, as a duck.
  2. to move in any similar, slow, rocking manner; wobble: The ship waddled into port.
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  1. an act or instance of waddling, especially a waddling gait.
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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. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for waddled

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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)
  1. to walk with short steps, rocking slightly from side to side
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  1. a swaying gait or motion
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Derived Formswaddler, nounwaddling, adjectivewaddly, adjective

Word Origin

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper