sod·​den | \ ˈsä-dᵊn How to pronounce sodden (audio) \

Definition of sodden

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : dull or expressionless especially from continued indulgence in alcoholic beverages sodden features
b : torpid, sluggish sodden minds
2a : heavy with or as if with moisture or water the sodden ground
b : heavy or doughy because of imperfect cooking sodden biscuits


soddened; soddening\ ˈsäd-​niŋ How to pronounce soddening (audio) , ˈsä-​dᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of sodden (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make sodden

intransitive verb

: to become soaked or saturated

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Other Words from sodden


soddenly adverb
soddenness \ ˈsä-​dᵊn-​(n)əs How to pronounce soddenness (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?


Nowadays, seethed is the past tense and past participle form of the verb seethe (which originally meant "to boil or stew"). Originally, however, seethe could also be conjugated in the past tense as sod and in the past participle as sodden. By the 14th century, sodden had become an independent adjective synonymous with "boiled." And, by the 16th century, it had taken on the figurative sense used to describe someone who appears dull, expressionless, or stupid, particularly as a result of heavy drink. Today, sodden is commonly used as a synonym of soaked or saturated. Seethe followed a different figurative path: while one who is sodden may appear dull, torpid, or sluggish, one who is seething is highly agitated, like a pot of boiling water.

Examples of sodden in a Sentence


eyes peering out between strands of sodden hair


soldiers' boots that were soddened by endless hours in muddy trenches cornflakes that had been soddened in milk to the point of mush
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The air, scented by sodden socks and bug spray, sagged with humidity. Dan Zak, Washington Post, "Evening in America: What it felt like on Trump’s 4th of July," 5 July 2019 The late-night sweeps that used to largely catch bleary-eyed partygoers and beer-sodden sports fans are now almost exclusively for the homeless. Rachel Swan,, "BART’s end of the line surges with homeless as misery plays out each night," 22 June 2019 Across the Midwest, torrential rains have soaked the fields, leaving the sodden soil unsuitable for planting millions of acres with corn, soybeans, and other crops, presaging a terrible harvest. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "As the climate crisis heats up, flooded farms in the Midwest can’t plant corn," 30 May 2019 The volcano was a silhouette on the horizon Tuesday, rumbling deeply almost every minute below rain-sodden skies. I Made Sentana, WSJ, "Indonesia Tsunami Death Toll Rises to 429 as Volcano Threat Remains," 25 Dec. 2018 Delicately, the groundskeepers pointed out that the weather in Manchester is a little less balmy, a little more sodden, than Catalonia or Bavaria, and that perhaps the grass should be slightly longer to account for that. Rory Smith, New York Times, "The Greatness of Pep Guardiola, in a Blade of Grass," 6 Apr. 2018 What remains, more than two weeks after the cyclone made landfall, is a sodden landscape of disconnectedness and grief. Cara Anna, The Seattle Times, "‘It’s not safe anywhere:’ Mozambique cyclone scattered lives," 30 Mar. 2019 And on the sodden Wembley turf this team looked like one in desperate need of a rebuild, with Derek Carr incapable of moving the chains despite utilising nine different pass-catchers and the defensive unit unable to stop Russell Wilson. Seattle Times Sports Staff, The Seattle Times, "What the (inter)national media are saying about the Seahawks’ 27-3 trouncing of the Oakland Raiders," 15 Oct. 2018 With clothes and face a sodden green, / Big-bellied, spectacled, crop-haired, / Dribbling black blood from nose and beard. David Yezzi, WSJ, "‘Robert Graves’ Review: A Poet of Love and War," 23 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Needless to say, with soils already sodden in the southeast, this would present a dire scenario for inland flooding. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The Hurricane Florence forecast has gone from bad to worse," 12 Sep. 2018 Her first album in just as long is 20 minutes shorter than The Woman in Me, her multiplatinum 1993 breakthrough released at the height of her fire for Lange, and far less tethered to sodden balladry. Dan Weiss, Billboard, "Shania Twain's 'Now': Not Quite Her 'Lemonade,' But Her First Album in 15 Years Couldn't Have Existed Without It (Critic's Take)," 4 Oct. 2017 Before the fire, the ground was a carpet of moss, huckleberry bushes, and sword and bracken ferns, and was usually sodden with rain for about nine months of the year or more. Madeline Ostrander, Smithsonian, "The National Parks Face a Looming Existential Crisis," 14 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sodden.' 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 sodden


1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1812, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for sodden


Middle English soden, from past participle of sethen to seethe

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Dictionary Entries near sodden

sod cloth

sod crop

sod culture





Statistics for sodden

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sodden

The first known use of sodden was in 1589

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More Definitions for sodden



English Language Learners Definition of sodden

: very heavy and wet


sod·​den | \ ˈsä-dᵊn How to pronounce sodden (audio) \

Kids Definition of sodden

: soggy sodden fields

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More from Merriam-Webster on sodden

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sodden

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sodden

Spanish Central: Translation of sodden

Nglish: Translation of sodden for Spanish Speakers

Comments on sodden

What made you want to look up sodden? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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