cod·​dle | \ ˈkä-dᵊl How to pronounce coddle (audio) \
coddled; coddling\ ˈkäd-​liŋ How to pronounce coddle (audio) , ˈkä-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of coddle

transitive verb

1 : to cook (something, such as eggs) in liquid slowly and gently just below the boiling point coddled the eggs for the Caesar salad
2 : to treat with extreme or excessive care or kindness : pamper accused the court of coddling criminals colleges that coddle their athletes

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from coddle

coddler \ ˈkäd-​lər How to pronounce coddle (audio) , ˈkä-​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

Synonyms for coddle


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of coddle in a Sentence

The judges were accused of coddling criminals. a hearty, traditional breakfast that included coddled eggs
Recent Examples on the Web As Santa Barbara’s newest lifestyle boutique hotel and part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand (with very little Hyatt signage on the property) it is known for experiences that coddle guests with elevated yet unscripted service. Debbi Kickham, Forbes, 26 June 2021 That device must trap the photon that arrives first, coax its information into a quantum memory—perhaps a diamond or atom cloud—correct any errors that have accumulated in transit, and coddle it until the other photon arrives. Gabriel Popkin, Science | AAAS, 3 June 2021 Beale would suggest that McConaughey confront voters, not coddle them. Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas News, 26 Apr. 2021 Fittingly, spring’s top skin-care trends offer more choice than ever, different textures and formulas, packed with ingredients that coddle your skin. Caitlin Kenny,, 15 Mar. 2021 Good for the Chicago Thinker—and even more for the university that promises never to coddle the students running the publication. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 23 Feb. 2021 The steady patter of California's concrete freeways is subdued, the soft seats coddle, and the AWD version's standard heated steering wheel warms. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, 12 Feb. 2021 At the same time, La Russa won’t coddle his players, instead doing what’s ultimately in the best interest of the team. Mark Gonzales,, 29 Oct. 2020 As a runner and a passer, the Ravens refuse to coddle him. Jonas Shaffer,, 24 Sep. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of coddle

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for coddle

perhaps altered from caudle "to administer a caudle to," verbal derivative of caudle

Note: The meaning "to pamper," earlier "to treat as if in need of nursing," attested from the second half of the 18th century, cannot be related with certainty to the cooking sense and may be of distinct origin.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About coddle

Dictionary Entries Near coddle

Coddington lens



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for coddle

Last Updated

30 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Coddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for coddle



English Language Learners Definition of coddle

disapproving : to treat (someone) with too much care or kindness


cod·​dle | \ ˈkä-dᵊl How to pronounce coddle (audio) \
coddled; coddling

Kids Definition of coddle

: to treat with too much care : pamper

More from Merriam-Webster on coddle

Nglish: Translation of coddle for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!