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Though the word doodle dates back to the 1600s, its meaning has changed over the years. We will examine the current definition of the word doodle, its evolution in meaning and origin and some examples of its use in sentences.

A doodle is a rough drawing usually made absent-mindedly. Doodles may be small pictures or abstract patterns. A secondary meaning of doodle is to play music in a free form manner. The original meaning of the word doodle, when coined in the 1600s, was a person who is foolish. The word doodle most probably is derived from the German words dudeltopf or dudeldop, meaning simpleton. In the 1930s in the United States, the word doodle was described as meaning a simpleton who drew mindless pictures. Eventually, the word doodle came to mean the pictures themselves or the act of drawing these pictures, and not the person drawing them. Doodle may be used as a noun or an intransitive verb, which is a verb that does not take an object. Related words are doodles, doodled, doodling, doodler. 


A teenager has won over Twitter with an adorable hand-drawn doodle of her girlfriend, which she placed in lieu of a photo inside a heart-shaped locket. (The Daily Mail)

Instead of scribbling illegible names onto each paper cup, Jason Tocewicz is adding doodles, caricatures, and famous animated faces to each order. (The Huffington Post)

Numerous separate doodles make up this crowded scene, reflecting readiness to take in new information and the rapid association of ideas of a lateral thinker, although there is logic, too, in the zigzag lines and angular shapes. (The Guardian)

If you’ve ever doodled a cartoon on a piece of paper during school, or at an office meeting that drones on endlessly, Dave Hartman is an inspiration. (The Billings Gazette)