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dod·​der ˈdä-dər How to pronounce dodder (audio)
: any of a genus (Cuscuta) of wiry twining vines of the morning-glory family that are highly deficient in chlorophyll, are parasitic on other plants, and have tiny scales instead of leaves


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doddered; doddering ˈdä-d(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce dodder (audio)

intransitive verb

: to tremble or shake from weakness or age
: to progress feebly and unsteadily
was doddering down the walk
dodderer noun

Example Sentences

Verb was doddering down the walk outside the nursing home
Recent Examples on the Web
In early September 2021, the NHU is filming a predator just as vicious—the dodder—using technology that didn’t exist back in 2018. Stephen Armstrong, Wired, 2 Dec. 2021 The dodder, Cuscuta europaea, a k a strangleweed or the devil’s hair, is a parasitic plant. Stephen Armstrong, Wired, 2 Dec. 2021 The one weed seed the feds found was dodder, a parasitic plant that climbs up unsuspecting regular plants and sucks the life out of them. Paul Eisenberg,, 18 July 2021 Conseulo De Moraes of Penn State University planted a young dodder near a tomato plant and continuously filmed the pair for several days. Scientific American, 11 Mar. 2021 Botanists had wondered about the dodder’s strategy for timing reproduction. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Sep. 2020 Once the dodder has a tight grip on its host, the anchoring root withers away. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Sep. 2020 Without the host’s flowering signal, neither the host nor the dodder flowered. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Sep. 2020 Scott Ward Abernethy is obviously having a blast channeling Audrey’s sadistic-dentist boyfriend, as well as assorted cameo figures, and Robert John Biedermann dodders aptly as the shop’s cantankerous owner, Mr. Mushnik. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 24 Oct. 2019
Jim Westwood, co-author and professor at Virginia Tech examines dodder. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 9 Jan. 2018 Tel Aviv University biologist Daniel Chamovitz discusses dodder and many other fascinating plants in his upcoming book, What A Plant Knows, an excerpt from which appears in the May issue of Scientific American. Scientific American, 11 Mar. 2021 The Dodgers appeared to dodder in the first two games, running up huge pitch counts against Atlanta starters Max Fried and Ian Anderson, but failing to score a run in 14 of the first 15 innings. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 15 Oct. 2020 Last, the researchers created a green fluorescent version of the flowering signal chemical, which provided visual evidence that dodder plant tissues can absorb the chemical and direct it to their flowering mechanisms. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Sep. 2020 As for pests, experts have identified a tiny wasp, two noxious weeds (water spinach and dodder) and a larval seed beetle. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, 9 Sep. 2020 The pale, curvy pillars of Phil Charlwood’s set variously represent forest trees; the cottage of the wise, doddering Sami Finn Woman (an amusing Anna Lynch); and, helped by frosty lighting designed by Doug Del Pizzo, the Snow Queen’s castle. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 15 Dec. 2019 Cassidy took control when the Bruins were doddering along at 26-23-6, both feet firmly planted on a path to a third consecutive DNQ., 23 Nov. 2019 And, there is the looming presence of a doddering Winston Churchill. John Cherwa,, 14 July 2019 See More

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

Word History



Middle English doder; akin to Middle High German toter dodder, egg yolk


Middle English dadiren

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dodder was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near dodder

Cite this Entry

“Dodder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


doddered; doddering
: to tremble or shake from weakness or age
: to go in a shaky or feeble way

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