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

Other Words from coddle

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

Synonyms for coddle


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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 The experiments in the two places suggest that the same technologies used to terrorize and remold those who are thought to resist the party’s authority can be deployed to coddle and reassure those who accept its rule. Josh Chin, WSJ, 2 Sep. 2022 At first, the film appears to be a quirky story about an awkward adult with little to no social skills, which his family and friends detrimentally coddle. Keith Nelson, Men's Health, 21 July 2022 Written in decisive prose, Scheier does not coddle herself or her mother. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, 1 Mar. 2022 With substantial support under the arch and the midsole’s rockered roll, these shoes coddle the feet, requiring little from them for stability or propulsion. Adam Chase, Outside Online, 10 Sep. 2021 Its top leadership moved away from that mission during President Donald Trump’s time in office, instead choosing to coddle financial companies and give in to their complaints of too much governance. Washington Post, 21 Dec. 2021 The health consequences for the GOP in continuing to coddle the unvaccinated minority of Americans are bracing at a time when nearly 1,000 Americans are still dying from Covid each day. Maeve Reston, CNN, 3 Dec. 2021 Modifying the way that history is taught so as to coddle white feelings, absolve guilt, and mitigate shame continues a worldwide practice of prioritizing and centering whiteness. Janice Gassam Asare, Forbes, 29 Oct. 2021 Now, however, colleges and universities merely seek to coddle students’ emotions, treating young people of voting age as children. Charles Hilu, National Review, 15 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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.

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Dictionary Entries Near coddle

Coddington lens



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Last Updated

10 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Coddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for coddle


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


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