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

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Other Words from coddle

coddler \ ˈkäd-​lər How to pronounce coddler (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 Yet, this is who Kemp and the unidentified bailiff chose to coddle and cry over. Kirsten West Savali, Essence, "On Judge Tammy Kemp And Why Playing The Help Ain’t A Pathway To Heaven," 3 Oct. 2019 Office improvements are designed to make white-collar employees—and prospective recruits, many of whom expect to be coddled—feel fitter, happier and, employers hope, more productive. The Economist, "Redesigning the corporate office," 26 Sep. 2019 The knee needs to be coddled for the moments when it is really needed. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Jared Goff and Rams’ offense are weighed down without Todd Gurley carrying load," 25 Sep. 2019 Young and coddled by the familiarity of suburbia, the urban brawler represents the fears and danger that may or may not exist beyond the walls of our home. Todd Martens,, "The buzzed-about game ’198X’ isn’t just about ’80s arcade nostalgia, but about trying to find your place in the world," 5 Aug. 2019 After exploiting everything and everyone, making millions and, in Epstein’s case, billions, both men died as guests of the nation, with either the abject incompetence or sinister connivance of a government that once coddled them. Kevin Cullen,, "Jeffrey Epstein and ‘Whitey’ Bulger: A tale of two sociopaths," 15 Aug. 2019 But more Americans are noticing the contradiction between coddled socialism for the rich and the destruction of opportunity for everyone else. Bernie Sanders, WSJ, "Trump Is the Worst Kind of Socialist," 26 June 2019 The environment, the companies, and the culture all coddle you. Matt Sheehan, WIRED, "WFH: Chinese Engineers Abroad Come Back," 13 Aug. 2019 Arguably, there is nothing coddling about companies agreeing to keep a wide set of stakeholders in mind when taking up the kinds of decisions that in the past have destroyed people’s health, or the planet’s health, in the name of maximizing profit. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "Responsible capitalism is not a form of millennial pandering," 24 Aug. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of coddle

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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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Statistics for coddle

Last Updated

21 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for coddle

The first known use of coddle was in 1598

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More Definitions for coddle


How to pronounce coddle (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on coddle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coddle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coddle

Spanish Central: Translation of coddle

Nglish: Translation of coddle for Spanish Speakers

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