Definition of doodle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈduːd(ə)l/


[no object]
Scribble absent-mindedly: he was only doodling in the margin
More example sentences
  • I picked my pen up and began to draw her, absent-mindedly doodling in the margins of the paper.
  • Apparently, science just wasn't his thing, because he was scribbling and doodling all over the front page of his science book.
  • I sipped a coffee, my favourite blend, and doodled absent-mindedly on my notepad.


A rough drawing made absent-mindedly: the text was interspersed with doodles
More example sentences
  • In the notebook were pretty drawings, simple little doodles of simple little joys.
  • He stared down at the pages filled with notes, the margins empty of any sort of drawings or doodles.
  • She said: ‘I am delighted with the response I received, from simple doodles and sketches to more elaborate paintings.’



Example sentences
  • ‘The ways of plain folk,’ he says, ‘is rich material for doodlers like me.’
  • And this at a time when, for a good century, art schools had been turning doodlers into artists.
  • Memories of my years as a childhood doodler resurface from time to time.


Early 17th century (originally as a noun denoting a fool, later as a verb in the sense 'make a fool of, cheat'): from Low German dudeltopf, dudeldopp 'simpleton'. Current senses date from the 1930s.

  • If you are a doodler, you may not be pleased to know that the original meaning of doodle was ‘a fool, a simpleton’. The word came from German dudeltopf or dudeldopp in the early 17th century. The modern senses, ‘to scribble absent-mindedly’ and ‘a rough drawing’, date from the 1930s. The Second World War doodlebug, or German V-1 flying bomb, may have got its name from the 1930s slang sense ‘a small car or railway locomotive’, or from the English dialect use ‘cockchafer’. A cockchafer is a large beetle which flies around slowly at dusk, making a deep hum.

Words that rhyme with doodle

boodle, caboodle, canoodle, feudal, noodle, poodle, strudel, udal

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: doo¦dle

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