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 massive landslide buried the bunkhouse, and everyone in it, under 20 feet of sodden earth and uprooted trees. Carlo Gabuco, National Geographic, "Death rituals help restless spirits find peace in the Philippines," 9 Apr. 2019 The story line also leaps forward in time; Anna Paquin joins the cast as Joanie, the now-adult daughter of Alison and Cole working as a coastal engineer in a sodden world decades into the future. New York Times, "The Week in Arts: An End to ‘The Affair’; A Lincoln Center Horror Show," 17 Aug. 2019 The clichés, plot holes, and stilted dialogue would all be forgivable if there were more fight scenes, and if the show wasn’t so often soaked in its own sodden seriousness. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Netflix’s Wu Assassins series lacks the Hong Kong cinema magic," 8 Aug. 2019 Arena’s coaching career also seemed to end prematurely when a pair of freak goals on a rain-sodden field in Trinidad derailed his efforts to quality the U.S. for another World Cup in the fall of 2017. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, "Bob Bradley and Bruce Arena are MLS foes, but always friends," 3 Aug. 2019 Often, that trigger is the edge of a continent: along the west coast of North and South America, for instance, atmospheric rivers crash into mountains, which forces the sodden air masses higher into the atmosphere. Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "‘Rivers in the sky’ are why California is flooding," 1 Mar. 2019 On day three, after 30 miles of mostly sodden trails, Kennedy finally made it through to the other side of the million-acre Big Cypress swamp. Eric Barton, Outside Online, "This Florida Thru-Hike Is Not for the Faint of Heart," 10 July 2019 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

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

5 Sep 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

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