A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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 waffling
  • He's been kind of waffling, realizing that this could help him a lot so he didn't really come out against it this time.
  • No more sets made out of cereal boxes and aluminum foil, no more waffling monologues and congealed fancies.
  • His waffling around in his depositions speaks for itself.
  • Buck, however, is waffling on the personhood amendment.
  • waffling, while our troops on the ground face an emboldened enemy, endangers them and hurts our cause.
  • There is a lot of waffling in there because it is not a popular position.
British Dictionary definitions for waffling


  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 waffling



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 waffling



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 waffling


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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