maud·​lin | \ ˈmȯd-lən How to pronounce maudlin (audio) \

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

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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."

Examples of maudlin in a Sentence

He became maudlin and started crying like a child. a maudlin movie about a lovable tramp

Recent Examples on the Web

But this is writer-director Matt Sivertson’s first film, and he and his cast and crew are able to offer only a maudlin drama that inspires eye rolls rather than tears. Kimber Myers,, "Adding Anne Frank doesn't deepen indie drama 'Love All You Have Left's' tragic tale," 28 June 2018 Two years, one celebrated (if also maudlin) atonement album, and half a joint tour later, the first track of the Carters’ new collaborative album finds the couple once again submerged in the profitable abyss of their own love. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Do Beyoncé Fans Have to Forgive Jay-Z?," 18 June 2018 As shame made way for pride, it was viewed as an uncomfortable anachronism, perpetuating the negative stereotype of the bitchy, self-hating, maudlin gay victim. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Boys in the Band': Theater Review," 1 June 2018 Jessica Fisch's staging is as deft as the script, thanks in large part to Laura Lapidus's complex Lina and Darci Nalepa's anguished but never maudlin Jessie. Tony Adler, Chicago Reader, "In Cry It Out, four new parents learn what to expect when they're no longer expecting," 23 May 2018 My first thought is of certain and immediate death, followed by a maudlin song orchestrating a montage of good moments. New York Times, "Flying Close to Temptation," 20 Apr. 2018 Such music is usually plaintive, nostalgic, seemingly simplistic, maudlin or sometimes just fringe complex and weird. Michael Nagrant, RedEye Chicago, "Daisies in Logan Square makes the case for dad food," 3 Aug. 2017 Not even the mighty Adele can rescue the maudlin overdrive of this 25 ballad. Chuck Arnold, Billboard, "Every Adele Song Ranked: Critic's Picks," 4 May 2018 The humor leavens what could potentially be a maudlin topic, a 71-year-old man who has survived two bouts with cancer contemplating his mortality. Greg Kot,, "John Prine proves he's more entertaining than a dog bite," 19 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of maudlin

1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for maudlin

alteration of Mary Magdalene; from her depiction as a weeping penitent

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Time Traveler for maudlin

The first known use of maudlin was in 1509

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English Language Learners Definition of maudlin

: showing or expressing too much emotion especially in a foolish or annoying way

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Spanish Central: Translation of maudlin

Nglish: Translation of maudlin for Spanish Speakers

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showing courage and determination

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