ad·​dled ˈa-dᵊld How to pronounce addled (audio)
: 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
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

Examples of addled in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An addled tourist faces criminal charges for his outburst on a packed passenger plane. Christina Coulter, Fox News, 8 Feb. 2024 By the time the ’60s were imploding, Brian had become more than an addled drug abuser. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 10 Nov. 2023 Sure, there were some addled clowns not of this realm peppered throughout the amphitheater. Matt Wake |, al, 12 July 2023 But in the pilot, Logan is an addled old man stumbling down the dark hallways of his new home until his wife, Marcia (Hiam Abbass), tracks him down and switches the light on to reveal him confused and peeing on the carpet. Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2023 Everyone can be upended in an addled world. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 14 Apr. 2021 This rack holds an impressive amount of feeding gear while still keeping everything in arm's reach, saving time for addled parents with hungry babies. Marisa Lascala and Lori Bergamotto, Good Housekeeping, 12 Jan. 2023 Republicans paint him as addled and listless at 79. Dallas News, 27 Aug. 2022 The way Stink papers over his addled lack of expertise with a constant grin is vaguely reminiscent of boobish Will Ferrell–style characters, but Forte is typically more interested in abstracting stupidity than satirizing it. Jesse Hassenger, Vulture, 21 Jan. 2022 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of addled was in 1599

Dictionary Entries Near addled

Cite this Entry

“Addled.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

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