AskDefine | Define dandle

Dictionary Definition



1 move (a baby) up and down in one's arms or on one's knees
2 pet; "the grandfather dandled the small child"

User Contributed Dictionary



Compare German dändeln, Old Dutch and Provincial German danten, German tand; Scots dandill.


  1. To move up and down on one’s knee or in one’s arms, in affectionate play, as an infant.
    • Ye shall be dandled . . . upon her knees. - Is.?
  2. To treat with fondness, as if a child; to fondle; to toy with; to pet.
    • They have put me in a silk gown and gaudy fool’s cap; I as ashamed to be dandled thus. - Addison
    • The book, thus dandled into popularity by bishops and good ladies, contained many pieces of nursery eloquence. - Jeffrey
  3. To play with; to put off or delay by trifles; to wheedle.
    • Captains do so dandle their doings, and dally in the service, as it they would not have the enemy subdued. - Spenser

Derived terms

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