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A waffle (pastry).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈwɒ.fl/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈwɑ.fl/, /ˈwɔ.fl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒfəl

Etymology 1Edit

Borrowed from Dutch wafel into American English, from Middle Dutch wafel, wavel, from Old Dutch [Term?], derived from the verb at hand in Dutch weven, a cognate and synonym of English weave (due to the pastry’s honeycomb pattern). This American borrowing may have been reinforced by German Waffel, an earlier borrowing from the same Dutch source. An even earlier borrowing of Old French walfre is the origin of French gaufre and English wafer.

The verb sense "to smash" derives from the manner in which waffle-batter is smashed into its shape between the two halves of a waffle iron, and the sense "to press a waffle pattern into" derives from the pattern the waffle-iron-halves impart.


waffle (plural waffles)

  1. (countable) A flat pastry pressed with a grid pattern.
    The brunch was waffles with strawberries and whipped cream.
  2. (countable, Britain) A potato waffle, a savoury flat potato cake with the same kind of grid pattern.
Derived termsEdit
Further readingEdit


waffle (third-person singular simple present waffles, present participle waffling, simple past and past participle waffled)

  1. To smash.
    • 1995, Peter Allen David, The Incredible Hulk: What savage beast:
      The cab was waffled in between the two, Marsh never having a prayer or even a full comprehension of what happened to him. He was crushed flat, never even hearing the deafening screech of metal.
    • 1997, Bill Conlin, Kevin Kerrane (editor), "Batting cleanup, Bill Conlin", page 121:
      These were not the Cowboys who were waffled, 45-14, here at mid-season. They came prepared to play a championship football game, with an ultra-conservative game plan suited to the horrendous turf conditions, and came close to pulling it off [...]
    • 2005, Shawn Michaels, with Aaron Feigenbaum, Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story, Page 47:
      Then I waffled him and knocked him down. Why I cut myself open with the razor, I'm not completely sure. I was like the idiot in a bar who gets all worked up and smashes a bottle over his head [...]
    • 2006, Gordon Forbes, Tales from the Eagles Sideline (updated edition), page 2:
      Bednarik, however, says the play became legendary only because of the circumstances. " I did it [...] to the top honcho. He just happened to be there and the pass was thrown to him. I waffled him cleanly." [...] "He just cold-cocked Frank," said linebacker Bob Pellegrini, whose injury sent Bednarik into the game to play defense.

Etymology 2Edit

Borrowed from Scots waffle (to waver, flutter), a variation of the waff (to flutter, wave), related to English wave, with the suffix Scots -le added. Alternatively, perhaps derived from waff, an imitation of a dog's yelp (cf. woof). Also note Old English wæflian (to talk foolishly).


waffle (uncountable)

  1. (uncountable) Speech or writing that is vague, pretentious or evasive.
    This interesting point seems to get lost a little within a lot of self-important waffle.


waffle (third-person singular simple present waffles, present participle waffling, simple past and past participle waffled)

  1. (of birds) To move in a side-to-side motion and descend (lose altitude) before landing. Cf wiffle, whiffle.
    The geese waffled as they approached the water.
  2. To speak or write vaguely and evasively.
    • 1970, John Galloway, The Gulf of Tonkin resolution, page 115:
      Again the answer was "waffled," for this did not say that no air units had been alerted. Only that none had been "identified." Moreover, the reply concerned air "unit[s]" as opposed to "air craft".
  3. To speak or write at length without any clear point or aim.
    • 1976 Tony Hatch, So you want to be in the music business, Everest Books, p68
      Unless you have a great line in gags or repartee don't waffle on aimlessly to your audience, or make in-jokes among yourselves, the band or the compere/DJ.
    • 1984 "Apiary Antics- No.5," British bee journal, Volumes 112-113, p68
      Before getting down to the nitty gritty of beekeeping, most contributors to BBJ like to waffle on for a bit about the weather, the state of their garden or something equally inconsequential.
    • 2005 Bill Condon, No Worries, Univ. of Queensland Press, p78
      She waffled on for ages. Usually I'd say something smart or make it obvious that I wasn't interested and couldn't be bothered listening.
    • 2006 Carl Storm, A Mighty Fine Way to Live and Die, Backstrap Ltd, p8
      The whole thing ended suddenly when the hotel manager arrived. He waffled on for a bit; this settled everyone down.
  4. To vacillate.
    • 2011, Tony Hefner, Between the Fences
      I waffled between going to the deposition and going to the doctor's. Wishing Barbara was there, I decided to call the doctor afterward.
  5. (transitive) To rotate (one's hand) back and forth in a gesture of vacillation or ambivalence.
    • 2007, Michael Koryta, Sorrow’s Anthem, Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-312-93660-0, page 146:
      [] You get anything useful on the background checks?” ¶ He waffled his hand. “Nothing like what you brought back, but still some interesting notes. []



Borrowed from English waffle.


waffle m (plural waffles)

  1. waffle (type of flat pastry)