Definition of addled

1 : thrown into confusion : confused his addled brain/mind … vainly endeavouring to master some task … which, to the addled brain of the crushed boy of nineteen, was a sealed and hopeless mystery.— Charles Dickens
2 of an egg : rotten, addle She was romantic, she was sentimental, she had a passion for little secrets and mysteries—a very innocent passion, for her secrets had hitherto always been as unpractical as addled eggs.— Henry James

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Synonyms & Antonyms for addled


bad, corrupted, decayed, decomposed, putrefied, putrid, rotten, spoiled



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Examples of addled in a Sentence

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Set in the '60s, the movie is about two drug-addled actors who go on vacation by mistake. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Richard E. Grant's Oscar Nomination Is Long Overdue," 24 Feb. 2019 Sabrina boasts a stellar cast, most notably Lucy Davis (Etta Candy in Wonder Woman) as Sabrina's warmly addled Aunt Hilda, and Miranda Otto (Eowyn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy) as her strict, traditionalist Aunt Zelda. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," 18 Dec. 2018 On the campaign trail, Mr. Salvini had already depicted a world in which migrant drug dealers preyed on wayward teenagers in an increasingly drug-addled country. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "This Italian Town Once Welcomed Migrants. Now, It’s a Symbol for Right-Wing Politics," 7 July 2018 The looks came and came and came, testing even the most un-addled short-term memory. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "Dolce & Gabbana’s Como Chameleons: Naomi Campbell, Halima Aden, and Maye Musk Model Alta Moda in Italy," 6 July 2018 This was John Elway faking the handoff to a migraine-addled Terrell Davis in the Super Bowl. Robert Klemko,, "Don't Be Fooled: President Trump Is Using NFL as Distraction for Bigger Issues Surrounding White House," 5 June 2018 But the addled nature of the Trump era is such that Obama’s decision to follow the well-worn path of earlier presidents has been a fraught choice, one that many Obama supporters disagree with. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Barack Obama’s very traditional retirement is controversial.," 25 June 2018 Because the thing is, my soccer-addled son is undersized too. Brad Rickman, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Loneliness of the American Soccer Fan," 15 June 2018 Movement is what the screen-addled mind craves, and movement is the attraction of soccer, basketball and football (even with its perception of movement created by the use of the no-huddle offense). Tom Verducci,, "There Are Too Many Strikeouts in Baseball: Here's How to Fix the Problem," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'addled.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of addled

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for addled

variant of addle entry 1, with the adjective suffix -ed entry 1

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Time Traveler for addled

The first known use of addled was in 1599

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