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pad·dle 1

1. An implement with a flat blade at one or both ends, held in the hands without an oarlock and passed through the water to propel a small boat such as a canoe.
2. Any of various implements resembling the paddle of a boat or canoe, as:
a. Sports A light wooden or plastic racket used in playing table tennis, platform tennis, and similar games.
b. A flat board with a handle used to administer physical punishment.
c. A blade or shovellike implement used for stirring or mixing.
3. Medicine A flat electrode that is part of a defibrillator and is put on a patient's chest to deliver an electric shock to the heart.
4. A board on a paddle wheel.
5. A flipper or flattened appendage of certain animals.
6. Botany See pad1.
7. The act of paddling.
v. pad·dled, pad·dling, pad·dles
1. Nautical
a. To propel a watercraft with paddles or a paddle.
b. To row slowly and gently.
2. To move through water by means of repeated short strokes of the limbs.
1. Nautical
a. To propel (a watercraft) with paddles or a paddle.
b. To convey in a watercraft propelled by paddles.
2. To spank or beat with a paddle, especially as a punishment.
3. To stir or shape (material) with a paddle.

[Middle English padell, spadelike tool used to clean plowshares, hoe; perhaps akin to spatyl, spatula, from Old French spatule, from Latin spatula, flat piece of wood; see spatula.]

pad′dler n.

pad·dle 2

intr.v. pad·dled, pad·dling, pad·dles
1. To dabble about in shallow water; splash gently with the hands or feet.
2. To move with a waddling motion; toddle.

[Perhaps of Low German origin.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.paddler - someone paddling a canoepaddler - someone paddling a canoe    
boatman, waterman, boater - someone who drives or rides in a boat
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Strong, half-naked Indian paddlers were in charge of the canoes which were of sturdy construction and light draft, since the river, like most tropical streams, was of uncertain depths, choked here and there with sand bars or tropical growths.
At the promised time he had the canoes and paddlers on hand and the goods safely stowed away while one big craft was fitted up as comfortably as possible for the men of the party.
The dugouts, which were of unusual length, were manned by twenty paddlers, ten to a side.
And all the while Hooja's canoe was drawing rapidly nearer, propelled by the strong arms of his twenty paddlers. Of course, their dugout was much larger than ours, and, consequently, infinitely heavier and more cum-bersome; nevertheless, it was coming along at quite a clip, and ours was yet but barely moving.
On, on the swift prahu sped up the winding channel which had now dwindled to a narrow stream, at intervals rushing strongly between rocky walls with a current that tested the strength of the strong, brown paddlers.
The canoes appeared very black on the white hiss of water; turbaned heads swayed back and forth; a multitude of arms in crimson and yellow rose and fell with one movement; the spearmen upright in the bows of canoes had variegated sarongs and gleaming shoulders like bronze statues; the muttered strophes of the paddlers' song ended periodically in a plaintive shout.
Throwing themselves in, Malbihn urged his paddlers to their most powerful efforts.
The five paddlers sent the larger boat ahead at a speed that taxed my energies to equal.
"But now that you have killed all my warriors, I do not know that even I can leave your country, for there will be none to wield the paddles, and without paddlers we cannot cross the water."
They were managed by skilful, half-naked paddlers, and I watched their advance with some uneasiness.
The paddlers, without command from chief or dandy, involuntarily obeyed, and with deep, strong strokes sent the canoe into the encircling darkness.
The other explained that it had come with a fleet of canoes in charge of an English half-caste clerk Kurtz had with him; that Kurtz had apparently intended to return him- self, the station being by that time bare of goods and stores, but after coming three hundred miles, had sud- denly decided to go back, which he started to do alone in a small dug-out with four paddlers, leaving the half- caste to continue down the river with the ivory.