mol·​ly·​cod·​dle | \ ˈmä-lē-ˌkä-dᵊl How to pronounce mollycoddle (audio) \
mollycoddled; mollycoddling\ ˈmä-​lē-​ˌkäd-​liŋ How to pronounce mollycoddle (audio) , -​ˌkä-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of mollycoddle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to treat with an excessive or absurd degree of indulgence and attention



Definition of mollycoddle (Entry 2 of 2)

dated, disparaging : a pampered or effeminate man or boy

Other Words from mollycoddle


mollycoddler \ ˈmä-​lē-​ˌkäd-​lər How to pronounce mollycoddle (audio) , -​ˌkä-​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for mollycoddle

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for mollycoddle


indulge, pamper, humor, spoil, baby, mollycoddle mean to show undue favor to a person's desires and feelings. indulge implies excessive compliance and weakness in gratifying another's or one's own desires. indulged myself with food at the slightest excuse pamper implies inordinate gratification of desire for luxury and comfort with consequent enervating effect. pampered by the amenities of modern living humor stresses a yielding to a person's moods or whims. humored him by letting him tell the story spoil stresses the injurious effects on character by indulging or pampering. foolish parents spoil their children baby suggests excessive care, attention, or solicitude. babying students by grading too easily mollycoddle suggests an excessive degree of care and attention to another's health or welfare. refused to mollycoddle her malingering son

Did you know?

Coddling eggs is delicate business. You need to cook them slowly and gently, keeping the water just below boiling. Given how carefully you need to treat the eggs, it's not surprising that coddle, the name for the cooking process, developed the figurative sense "to pamper." Mollycoddle was formed by combining coddle with molly, a nickname for Mary. In its earliest known uses in the 1840s, mollycoddle was a noun, a synonym of our modern wimp, but in short time, it was being used as the verb you're likely to encounter now.

Examples of mollycoddle in a Sentence

Verb The coach has been mollycoddling the team's star players. refused to mollycoddle her malingering son and sent him off to school
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So football generally, and pro football specifically, helped reassure the country that American men were not mollycoddled softies. James Surowiecki, New York Times, 19 Dec. 2019 Koenig may have supported Bernie Sanders in 2016, but Sanders’s mollycoddling platform never approaches the real-life perplexities that Koenig — a pop poet — sings about. Armond White, National Review, 10 Dec. 2019 Her poise is the result of a loving yet punctilious upbringing by parents determined that their fame and its accompanying perks were not going to mollycoddle their two children. Michael Callahan, Town & Country, 1 Aug. 2018 Both sides are mollycoddling their own predicaments with this talk. Chad Pergram, Fox News, 15 Mar. 2018 This mollycoddled outdated practices, like harvesting by hand. The Economist, 14 Dec. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Frankly, mollycoddle is the word that comes to term. CBS News, 5 Feb. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mollycoddle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of mollycoddle


1865, in the meaning defined above


1837, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mollycoddle


Molly, nickname for Mary

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The first known use of mollycoddle was in 1837

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Cite this Entry

“Mollycoddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of mollycoddle for Spanish Speakers


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