addle

1 of 2

adjective

ad·​dle ˈa-dᵊl How to pronounce addle (audio)
1
of an egg : rotten
2

addle

2 of 2

verb

addled; addling ˈad-liŋ How to pronounce addle (audio)
ˈa-dᵊl-iŋ

transitive verb

: to throw into confusion : confound

intransitive verb

1
: to become rotten : spoil
2
: to become confused

Examples of addle in a Sentence

Adjective my brain grew more and more addle as I made my way through the tax instructions Verb It's a dangerous poison that's strong enough to addle the brain. Their brains were addled with fear.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Soon enough, the foursome are in the back of that truck in an adventure that begins as a moneymaking scheme and promises to become a heroic journey into the heart of white supremacy at its most virulent and addle-minded. Ann Hornaday, Twin Cities, 25 July 2019
Verb
Writer’s block was extreme, and the alcohol had addled his mind. Vulture, 31 Jan. 2024 Famously formerly addled but now sober and with new management, Adams played a five-show East Coast solo run, including at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, 30 May 2023 Two laps are enough to addle your brain and unbalance your equilibrium. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 11 Apr. 2023 In The Dog of the South there is the Demerol-addled, disgraced Dr. Reo Symes, whose life story threatens beautifully to overtake the book’s ostensible plot. Will Stephenson, Harper’s Magazine , 13 Mar. 2023 Should’ve tried the Irish cheese instead, per Mc Gee’s words; perhaps I was addled by my cocktail, the Dubliner, a smooth mix of Irish whiskey, orange liqueur, vermouth, and orange bitters. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 28 Feb. 2023 Instead, cocaine-addled Rafe (Drew Starkey) — brother to John B.’s girlfriend Sarah (Madelyn Cline) — is the true killer. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, 20 Apr. 2020 Erich von Stroheim stars in this eerie low-budget thriller, as a vaudeville marksman whose aim is addled by lust for his young assistant (Mary Beth Hughes). Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 10 Apr. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'addle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English adel- (in adel eye "putrid egg"), attributive use of Old English adela "filth, filthy or foul-smelling place," going back to Germanic *adela-, *adelōn- (whence Middle Dutch ael "liquid manure," Middle Low German ādel, ādele, Middle High German —east Upper German— adel, regional Swedish adel, al "animal urine"), of obscure origin

Verb

probably back-formation from addled

First Known Use

Adjective

1682, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1652, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of addle was in 1652

Dictionary Entries Near addle

Cite this Entry

“Addle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/addle. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

addle

verb
ad·​dle
ˈad-ᵊl
addled; addling
ˈad-liŋ,
-ᵊl-iŋ
1
: to make or become confused
2
: to become rotten : spoil
addled eggs

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