curdle

verb

cur·​dle ˈkər-dᵊl How to pronounce curdle (audio)
curdled; curdling ˈkərd-liŋ How to pronounce curdle (audio)
ˈkər-dᵊl-iŋ

intransitive verb

1
: to form curds
also : to congeal as if by forming curds
a scream curdled in her throat
2
: to go bad or wrong : spoil

transitive verb

1
: to cause curds to form in
curdled milk
2
: spoil, sour

Examples of curdle in a Sentence

Too much heat will make the custard curdle. Too much heat will curdle the custard.
Recent Examples on the Web Eventually, that joy is curdled when health problems arise and she’s taken off-air. Vulture, 2 Feb. 2024 Ideal for: Beans, stews, braises, large cuts of meat, cheesecake Pro tip: Dairy can curdle under pressure, so consider stirring it in at the end of cooking instead. Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2024 That full range would curdle the analog-to-digital convertors built into most microcontroller boards, so the THAT compresses and shifts that range for the hybrid port. IEEE Spectrum, 28 Dec. 2023 The traditional version starts with fresh soy milk and curdles it with fresh ginger, yielding a custardy tofu-like pudding. Michelle Tchea, Bon Appétit, 26 Aug. 2023 Their relationship begins to curdle when one party shows more than carnal interest in the other. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 5 Dec. 2023 Here are a few key tips for the creamiest results: Temper the eggs: Whisk the hot liquid into the egg yolks slowly to keep the eggs from curdling. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 29 Sep. 2023 In truth, my preoccupation with other people’s luck and beauty had long ago turned ugly, my cleverness had curdled into bitterness—none of it was remotely interesting. Zadie Smith, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2023 During her character’s apex in the show, the plea for her father to change his life, her voice curdled from sadness into a resigned anger. Jazmine Hughes, New York Times, 19 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

metathetic variant of cruddle, crudle, frequentative of crud entry 2

First Known Use

1585, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of curdle was in 1585

Dictionary Entries Near curdle

Cite this Entry

“Curdle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/curdle. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

curdle

verb
cur·​dle ˈkərd-ᵊl How to pronounce curdle (audio)
curdled; curdling ˈkərd-liŋ How to pronounce curdle (audio)
-ᵊl-iŋ
1
: to form curds
2
: to cause curds to form in
high heat curdled the custard
3
used in expressions such as make one's blood curdle to indicate a feeling of terror
a ghost story that will make your blood curdle

More from Merriam-Webster on curdle

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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