rad·​dled ˈra-dᵊld How to pronounce raddled (audio)
: being in a state of confusion : lacking composure

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The origin of raddled is unclear. Its participial form suggests verbal parentage, and indeed there is a verb raddle just a few decades older than raddled that seems a likely source. This raddle means "to mark or paint with raddle," raddle here being red ocher, or sometimes other pigments, used for marking animals. Raddle eventually came to mean "to color highly with rouge," the metaphor connecting the raddling of animal husbandry with immoderate makeup application: to be raddled thusly was not a compliment. The "confused" sense of raddled is often associated with the influence of alcohol or drugs. That connection is in keeping with the word's earliest known use, from a 1694 translation of French writer Francois Rabelais: "A … fellow, continually raddled, and as drunk as a wheelbarrow."

Examples of raddled in a Sentence

trying to explain a mix-up in my mail order to a clearly raddled clerk in customer service

Word History


of obscure origin

First Known Use

1694, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of raddled was in 1694


Dictionary Entries Near raddled

Cite this Entry

“Raddled.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/raddled. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

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