1 : being mixed up : confused
2 : eccentric
Did You Know?
In Middle English an adel eye was a putrid egg. The stench of such an egg apparently affected the minds of some witty thinkers, who hatched a comparison between the diminished, unsound quality of an adel eye (or addle egg as it came to be called in modern English) and an empty, confused head—or pate. "Your owne imagination, which was no lesse Idle, then your head was addle all that day," wrote one 17th-century wit at play with the words idle and addle. Today, addle is often found in combination with words referring to one's noggin, as in addlepated, addlebrained, and addle-headed.
"Her addlepated mind flitted butterflylike from one often unrelated subject to another." — Tessa Harris, The Anatomist's Apprentice, 2011
"[Nick Park's] best-known creations are the addlepated, cheese-loving inventor Wallace, and Gromit, his patient, intelligent dog. Park's work helped to spark a new blossoming of stop-motion animation…." — Charles Solomon, The Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2018
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Antonym
Fill in the blanks to complete an antonym of addlepated: c _ _ a _ _ e _ de _.VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP