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left to right: paddleball, canoe, and kayak paddles
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
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.
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.]
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.