dod·​der | \ ˈdä-dər How to pronounce dodder (audio) \

Definition of dodder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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


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

Definition of dodder (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

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

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Other Words from dodder


dodderer \ ˈdä-​dər-​ər How to pronounce dodderer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for dodder

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of dodder in a Sentence

Verb was doddering down the walk outside the nursing home
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Without the host’s flowering signal, neither the host nor the dodder flowered. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Parasitic Plant Waits for Host’s Signal Before Flowering," 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, "Despite exotic botany, Constellation’s ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ is an old chestnut," 24 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "'We know who we are': Dodgers' record-breaking 15-3 Game 3 rout of Braves rewrites NLCS script," 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, "Parasitic Plant Waits for Host’s Signal Before Flowering," 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, "This year’s unsolicited seed scare highlights the work of legitimate seed growers," 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, "No winter wonderland in slushy ‘Snow Queen’," 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., "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 23 Nov. 2019 And, there is the looming presence of a doddering Winston Churchill. John Cherwa,, "Racing! Game Winner is back in winning form," 14 July 2019 Television may be a dinosaur in the Internet epoch, but a dinosaur is a very big thing, and television is a mighty if doddering T. rex. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Among the Chimps," 28 July 2019 Her old coot of a husband doddered over to see what the trouble was. George Saunders, The New Yorker, "Little St. Don," 19 Feb. 2016

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.

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First Known Use of dodder


13th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dodder


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


Middle English dadiren

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Time Traveler for dodder

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

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Last Updated

15 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dodder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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