mollycoddle was our Word of the Day on 11/22/2009. Hear the podcast!
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Origin and Etymology of mollycoddle
First Known Use: 1833See Words from the same year
Definition of mollycoddle
mollycoddlerplay \-ˌkäd-lər, -ˌkä-dᵊl-ər\ noun
Examples of mollycoddle in a Sentence
The coach has been mollycoddling the team's star players.
refused to mollycoddle her malingering son and sent him off to school
Recent Examples of mollycoddle from the Web
This mollycoddled outdated practices, like harvesting by hand.
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.
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 1830s, mollycoddle was a noun, a synonym of our modern wimp, but within 30 years it was being used as the verb you're likely to encounter now.
First Known Use of mollycoddle
Synonymscocker, coddle, cosset, dandle, indulge, baby, nurse, pamper, spoil, wet-nurse
Antonymsabuse, ill-treat, ill-use, maltreat, manhandle, mishandle, mistreat, misuse
Related Wordscater (to), humor; content, delight, gladden, gratify, mother, oblige, please, satisfy; appease, mollify, pacify, placate, soothe
Near Antonymscontrol, discipline, restrain; oppress; neglect, overlook, slight; molest, outrage, violate; harass, harm, hurt, injure, oppress, persecute, torment, torture, victimize
Synonym Discussion of mollycoddle
- indulged myself with food at the slightest excuse
- pampered by the amenities of modern living
- humored him by letting him tell the story
- foolish parents spoil their children
- babying students by grading too easily
- refused to mollycoddle her malingering son
MOLLYCODDLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of mollycoddle for English Language Learners
: to treat (someone) with more kindness and attention than is appropriate : to treat (someone) too nicely or gently
Seen and Heard
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