Definition of puddle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpədl/


1A small pool of liquid, especially of rainwater on the ground: splashing through deep puddles figurative a little puddle of light
More example sentences
  • To save their broods, they dig canals between dwindling puddles and deeper pools.
  • From a deep gash in her forehead, blood trickled down the side of her face and along her neck, spilling to the ground to form a small puddle of the red liquid.
  • We splashed through little puddles and ankle deep bowls.
pool, spill, splash
literary plash
2Clay and sand mixed with water and used as a watertight covering for embankments.
Example sentences
  • Can your controller and receiver survive being dunked in a typical construction-site puddle?
  • This puddle or engineering clay is used extensively for the construction of lakes and ponds and is of excellent quality.


[with object]
1Wet or cover (a surface) with water, especially rainwater: the cobbles under our feet were wet and puddled
More example sentences
  • And here was a man puddling the ground with his own blood for me!
  • If this land is agreed to be a very important site and should change into an exciting public place, contributing to the listed buildings and the vibrancy of that area, it can't continue as an uneven, puddled car park.
  • In the rainy months, a symphony of leaks puddled her floor, though she never cared, plashing through, with a duck's insouciance.
1.1 [no object] (Of liquid) form a small pool: rivulets of water coursed down the panes, puddling on the sill
More example sentences
  • Do not apply excessive amounts so that the spray puddles on the floors.
  • Since the water was puddling on the floor near a wall/floor intersection, the consultant initially thought the water might have been coming from below.
  • I wrung my own dripping locks, water puddling at my black ankle boots.
1.2 [no object] archaic Dabble or wallow in mud or shallow water: children are playing and puddling about in the dirt
More example sentences
  • Anyway, my last week of surfing was punctuated by fun puddling about in the small waters of Kuta Beach.
  • A place still firmly rooted in old-time Americana, where kids puddle around in the shallows and dogs lap up fallen ice cream cones.
  • We actually were puddling around in a metre and a half of water, with water up to our chests, coaxing cows along fence lines and onto races and back to safety.
1.3 [no object] (puddle around/about) informal Occupy oneself in a disorganized or unproductive way: the Internet is just the latest excuse for puddling around at work
More example sentences
  • Possibly the global criminal infrastructure would collapse and they would retire to puddling around in their gardens looking after their azaleas.
  • Some twirled around while others puddled about forcing some of the pedestrians to stop and take note of their revelry.
  • Started puddling around home as a kid in a Sabot I built.
2Line (a hole) with puddle.
Example sentences
  • Brindley used an old process called puddling which lined the sides and bottom of a canal with clay mixed with water.
  • They were constructed with sloping sides, flat bottomed and lined with puddled clay.
2.1Knead (clay and sand) into puddle.
2.2Work (mixed water and clay) to separate gold or opal.
Example sentences
  • The prospector then puddled the mixture. This means he placed the pan in flowing water, broke up the clay with his hands and mixed it with the water so that the water washed the clay away.
  • Some hillsides may have been ‘surfaced’. That is, all the gold bearing gravel and dirt lifted and carried away to be puddled for its gold content.
2.3 (usually as noun puddling) chiefly historical Stir (molten iron) with iron oxide in a furnace, to produce wrought iron by oxidizing carbon.
Example sentences
  • In the 1780s, Henry Cort developed the puddling furnace, which allowed pig iron to be refined in turn with coke.
  • In the late 18th cent. the Cranage brothers, Peter Onions, and Henry Cort applied coke to the puddling process in producing bar iron.



Pronunciation: /ˈpədlər/
Example sentences
  • Sykes, a father-of-four, had been laid off from his job as a puddler at a Rotherham iron works in 1865, forcing him to turn to poaching to stave off destitution.
  • Skilled ironworkers (‘puddlers’) could ‘stir’ molten pig iron in a large vat, raking off refined iron for further processing.
  • Trade unions of skilled iron molders, puddlers, and textile workers joined forces with struggling societies of artisan craftsmen - printers, shoemakers, and tailors.


Pronunciation: /ˈpədlē/
Example sentences
  • Today, when the world is drippy, puddly and weeping with rain, leaden with clouds and hazy memories of sunshine, one stays home and tends to domestic gardens, such as laundry, stove-scrubbing, and floor-mopping.
  • If the great god Poseidon made a record it could not be wetter than the puddly emanations of this Irish good-for-nothing, a member of that lowest of all pop castes the singer-songwriter.
  • Luckily I largely managed to avoid the rain today, but the path by the river was very muddy and puddly and my feet were soaking.


Middle English: diminutive of Old English pudd 'ditch, furrow'; compare with German dialect Pfudel 'pool'.

  • Old English had a word pudd ‘ditch, furrow’, and a puddle was originally a small one of these. Pool, ‘standing water’ goes back to the same West Germanic root. The common Germanic heritage comes out in German Pudel(hund) the origin of the poodle (late 18th century). Poodle sometimes has the sense ‘lackey’, introduced when Lloyd George called Lord Balfour a poodle in Parliament in 1907. The colloquial verb poodle meaning ‘go around in a leisurely manner’ is found from the 1930s.

Words that rhyme with puddle

befuddle, cuddle, fuddle, huddle, muddle, ruddle

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pud·dle

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