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[wof-uh l] /ˌwɒf əl/
a batter cake with a pattern of deep indentations on each side, formed by the gridlike design on each of the two hinged parts of the metal appliance (waffle iron) in which the cake is baked.
Also, waffled. having a gridlike or indented lattice shape or design:
a waffle pattern.
1735-45; < Dutch wafel


[wof-uh l] /ˈwɒf əl/ Informal.
verb (used without object), waffled, waffling.
to speak or write equivocally:
to waffle on an important issue.
verb (used with object), waffled, waffling.
to speak or write equivocally about:
to waffle a campaign promise.
waffling language.
1890-95; orig. dial. (Scots, N England): to wave about, flutter, waver, be hesitant; probably waff + -le
Related forms
waffler, noun
wafflingly, adverb
waffly, adjective


[wof-uh l] /ˈwɒf əl/
verb (used without object), waffled, waffling. British
to talk foolishly or without purpose; idle away time talking.
1695-1705; orig. dial. (N England); apparently waff to bark, yelp (imitative) + -le Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for waffle
  • Upscale camping, where roughing it includes a morning waffle bar.
  • The interior will still show off the structure's waffle-cut concrete ceilings.
  • She continues to waffle on honesty, and is capitalizing on dishonesty.
  • Weary waiters wash and stack plastic chairs outside waffle shops.
  • It is the device you are supposed to grab when a yen for waffle-cut potatoes or a julienned salad hits.
  • Midway through the year he scribbled indecipherably and seemed to waffle about which hand to use when writing.
  • Neither can waffle out of responsibility for a problem by blaming the other.
  • There is still too much waffle about good intentions in even the best reports.
  • He sometimes speaks in jargon and think-tank waffle.
  • Many of these ideas are well-meaning waffle, little better than glorified contingency planning.
British Dictionary definitions for waffle


  1. a crisp golden-brown pancake with deep indentations on both sides
  2. (as modifier): waffle iron
Word Origin
C19: from Dutch wafel (earlier wæfel), of Germanic origin; related to Old High German wabo honeycomb


(intransitive) often foll by on. to speak or write in a vague and wordy manner: he waffled on for hours
vague and wordy speech or writing
Derived Forms
waffler, noun
waffling, adjective, noun
waffly, adjective
Word Origin
C19: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for waffle

1744, from Dutch wafel "waffle," from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German wafel, from Proto-Germanic *wabila- "web, honeycomb" (cf. Old High German waba "honeycomb," German Wabe), related to Old High German weban, Old English wefan "to weave" (see weave (v.)). Sense of "honeycomb" is preserved in some combinations referring to a weave of cloth. Waffle iron is from 1794.


1690s, "to yelp, bark," frequentative of waff "to yelp" (1610); possibly of imitative origin. Figurative sense of "talk foolishly" (1701) led to that of "vacillate, equivocate" (1803), originally a Scottish and northern English usage. Related: Waffled; waffling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for waffle



A cowboy (late 1800s+)


Related Terms

high waters

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Encyclopedia Article for waffle

crisp raised cake baked in a waffle iron, a hinged metal griddle with a honeycombed or fancifully engraved surface that allows a thin layer of batter to cook evenly and crisply. Baking powder is the typical leavening in American waffles, and yeast waffles are eaten in Belgium and France. In the United States and Canada waffles are a popular breakfast food, topped with butter and maple syrup or fruit preserves. Waffles also can serve as a base for savoury mixtures such as seafood or poultry in sauce. In Belgium waffles are a popular snack food. They are mentioned in French poems from as early as the 12th century, when they were sold as street food at fairs and religious festivals.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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