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Sunrise paddling
videogame paddles (7)


  • IPA(key): /ˈpædl̩/, /ˈpæ.dəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ædəl

Etymology 1[edit]

Partly from the verb paddle ("to splash, dabble"; see below) and partly from Middle English padell (small spade). Middle English padell is from Medieval Latin padela, itself of uncertain origin: perhaps an alteration of Middle English *spaddle (see also spaddle), a diminutive of spade; or from Latin patella (pan, plate), the diminutive of patina, or a merger of the two. Compare Ancient Greek πηδάλιον (pēdálion, rudder, steering oar), derived from πηδός (pēdós, the blade of an oar; an oar).

Alternative forms[edit]


paddle (plural paddles)

  1. A two-handed, single-bladed oar used to propel a canoe or a small boat.
  2. A double-bladed oar used for kayaking.
  3. Time spent on paddling.
    We had a nice paddle this morning.
  4. A slat of a paddleboat's wheel.
  5. A paddlewheel.
  6. A blade of a waterwheel.
  7. (video games, dated) A game controller with a round wheel used to control player movement along one axis of the video screen.
  8. (Britain) A meandering walk or dabble through shallow water, especially at the seaside.
  9. A kitchen utensil shaped like a paddle and used for mixing, beating etc.
  10. A bat-shaped spanking implement.
    The paddle practically ousted the British cane for spankings in the independent US.
  11. A ping pong bat.
    Synonym: racket
  12. A flat limb of an aquatic animal, adapted for swimming.
    A sea turtle's paddles make it swim almost as fast as land tortoises are slow.
  13. In a sluice, a panel that controls the flow of water.
  14. A group of inerts.
  15. A handheld defibrillation/cardioversion electrode.
  16. (slang) hand
  17. (sports) Alternative form of padel
Derived terms[edit]
  • Danish: paddel, padle
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See also[edit]


paddle (third-person singular simple present paddles, present participle paddling, simple past and past participle paddled)

  1. (transitive) To propel something through water with a paddle, oar, hands, etc.
  2. (intransitive) To row a boat with less than one's full capacity.
  3. (transitive) To spank with a paddle.
  4. To pat or stroke amorously or gently.
  5. To tread upon; to trample.

Etymology 2[edit]

Recorded since 1530, probably cognate with Low German paddeln (to tramp about), frequentative form of padjen (to tramp, run in short steps), from pad (also in Dutch dialects). Compare also Saterland Frisian paddelje (to paddle).


paddle (third-person singular simple present paddles, present participle paddling, simple past and past participle paddled)

  1. (intransitive, Britain) To walk or dabble playfully in shallow water, especially at the seaside.
  2. To toddle.
  3. (archaic, intransitive) To toy or caress using hands or fingers.

Further reading[edit]




  1. inflection of paddeln:
    1. first-person singular present
    2. first/third-person singular subjunctive I
    3. singular imperative