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
maudlin was our Word of the Day on 01/19/2009. Hear the podcast!
Examples of maudlin in a Sentence
He became maudlin and started crying like a child.
a maudlin movie about a lovable tramp
Recent Examples of maudlin from the Web
Toward the end, though, the doc takes on a maudlin air.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maudlin'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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: 1509See Words from the same year
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
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