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


boil, parboil, poach, simmer, stew

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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

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 If anything, technology appears to amplify humans’ moral weaknesses by coddling people with consumer comforts and echo chambers. Kentaro Toyama, The Conversation, "Bring on the technology bans!," 19 Aug. 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, Los Angeles Times, "What to play: Beyond ‘198X’s’ love letter to video arcades, how games shape our worldviews," 29 July 2019 The German inexplicably does not feel exploited to make only one-fifth of what his coddled Developing World competitor earns. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Welcome to the Machine," 26 July 2019 Many of those tigers began their lives as coddled tourist draws - adorable miniatures of an exalted wild animal., "The trouble with tigers in America," 13 July 2019 Hotels stopped coddling entertainers, many of whom seemed dated. The Economist, "When the King saved Vegas," 11 July 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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Dictionary Entries near coddle



Coddington lens





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Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for coddle

The first known use of coddle was in 1598

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on coddle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coddle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coddle

Spanish Central: Translation of coddle

Nglish: Translation of coddle for Spanish Speakers

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