Definition of maudlin
1 : drunk enough to be emotionally silly <a mob of maudlin rummies … sing hymns — Joseph Mitchell> <would crack open another beer and become maudlin — Patrick Moore>
2 : weakly and effusively sentimental <maudlin expressions of regret>
Examples of maudlin in a sentence
He became maudlin and started crying like a child.
<a maudlin movie about a lovable tramp>
Did You Know?
The history of maudlin owes as much to the Bible as to the barroom. The biblical Mary Magdalene is often (though some say mistakenly) identified with the weeping sinner who washed Jesus' feet with her tears to repent for her sins. This association led to the frequent depiction of Mary Magdalene as a weeping penitent, and by the 16th century even the name Magdalene suggested teary emotion to many English speakers. It was then that maudlin, an alteration of Magdalene, appeared in the English phrase "maudlin drunk," which, as one Englishman explained in 1592, described a tearful drunken state whereby "a fellow will weepe for kindnes in the midst of his Ale and kisse you."
Origin and Etymology of maudlin
alteration of Mary Magdalene; from her depiction as a weeping penitent
First Known Use: 1509
MAUDLIN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of maudlin for English Language Learners
: showing or expressing too much emotion especially in a foolish or annoying way
Seen and Heard
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