Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of a breed of dogs originally developed in Europe as hunting dogs, having thick curly hair of varying color, and classified by shoulder height into standard, miniature, and toy varieties.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various breeds of dog originating in Europe as hunting dogs, and having heavy, curly fur in a solid color; their shoulder height indicates their classification as standard, miniature, or toy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A breed of dogs having curly hair, and often showing remarkable intelligence in the performance of tricks.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of a breed of usually undersized fancy or toy dogs, with long curly hair.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an intelligent dog with a heavy curly solid-colored coat that is usually clipped; an old breed sometimes trained as sporting dogs or as performing dogs

Etymologies

German Pudel, short for Pudelhund : Low German pudeln, to splash about (from pudel, puddle) + German Hund, dog.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From German Pudel, a shortened form of Pudelhund, a compound of Hund ("dog") and the German Low German term Pudel, Pūdel ("puddle"), from the onomatopoeic term pudeln ("to splash about").[2] (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Yeah, it's not the best source to trust for etymologies, but I thought the quote was interesting. (Actually I like the one on poodle clip better!). Also pudeln is a more fun thing to say than Pudel. No? Reminds me of kugeln.

    ... is that even a word? Maybe I'm thinking of flugelhorn.

    Oh, and the book spelled pudeln wrong. Dumb book.

    July 28, 2009

  • Online Etymological Dictionary gives a slightly different emphasis on the derivation:
    "1825, from Ger. Pudel, shortened form of Pudelhund 'water dog', from Low Ger. Pudel 'puddle' (cf. pudeln 'to splash') + Ger. Hund 'hound'."

    July 28, 2009

  • "... the word poodle derives from the German word puddeln, meaning 'to splash in water.' Originally a water dog and retriever of water game, the poodle is closely related to the Portuguese water dog and the Irish water spaniel."
    —Merrily Weisbord and Kim Kachanoff, Dogs with Jobs: Working Dogs Around the World (NY and London: Pocket Books, 2000), 130

    More info on poodle clip.

    July 28, 2009

  • figuratively, One eager to take care of someone else's needs—either stated or anticipated—especially in order to maintain a position of privilege or status.

    July 27, 2009