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adjective (1)

dot·​ty ˈdä-tē How to pronounce dotty (audio)
dottier; dottiest
: not mentally sound
also : amiably eccentric
There's something delightful about meeting a 95-year-old who is as sharp as a tack. … That's way better than being known as the dotty old auntie or uncle … Carole Levy
: being obsessed or infatuated
They met at school as teenagers and have been dotty about each other ever since.Lynda Lee-Potter
: amusingly absurd : ridiculous
dotty ideas
dottily adverb
dottiness noun


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adjective (2)

: composed of or marked by dots

Examples of dotty in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Zoe and her dotty, irrepressible mother, Cath (Emma Thompson), are also on board for the festivities, which will be the centerpiece of Zoe’s documentary. Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2023 The plots revolve around the cultural friction between the women and the roster of dotty customers who parade through the place. San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Sep. 2022 Peter’s aunt and the IRL empress in historical Russia, here a delightfully dotty non-empress with weird fertility advice!) brings Catherine a frog to sit on her stomach to help with the pregnancy. Alice Burton, Vulture, 19 Nov. 2021 Anyone who was indignant on behalf of Close was immediately disarmed by Colman’s charmingly dotty acceptance speech. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 15 Apr. 2021 This year's Kusama bonanza of shows is taking place in a very different world, where exhibition crowds and confined interactive installations are no longer so appealing: will audiences still go dotty for Kusama in 2021? Gabriella Angeleti, CNN, 15 Apr. 2021 Dianne Wiest is Jennifer Peterson, a rich and supposedly dotty old dame who strikes Marla as an easy mark. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 18 Feb. 2021 Eileen is a triumph – a vibrant romantic lead rather than a dotty knitter played for laughs. Yvonne Zipp, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 Sep. 2020 Glaser even joined the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s call for artists, pitching one of his dotty landscape paintings for a subway station. Anne Quito, Quartz at Work, 8 July 2020 See More

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

Word History


Adjective (1)

alteration of Scots dottle fool, from Middle English dotel, from doten

First Known Use

Adjective (1)

1860, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective (2)

1795, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dotty was in 1795

Dictionary Entries Near dotty

Cite this Entry

“Dotty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


dottier; dottiest
: a little crazy
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