1 : drunk enough to be emotionally silly
2 : weakly and effusively sentimental
Did You Know?
The history of maudlin owes as much to the Bible as to the barroom. The biblical Mary Magdalene is often (though some say mistakenly) identified with the weeping sinner who washed Jesus' feet with her tears to repent for her sins. This association led to the frequent depiction of Mary Magdalene as a weeping penitent, and even the name Magdalene came to suggest teary emotion to many English speakers. It was then that maudlin, an alteration of Magdalene, appeared in the English phrase "maudlin drunk," which, as one Englishman explained in 1592, described a tearful drunken state whereby "a fellow will weepe for kindnes in the midst of his Ale and kisse you."
Rather than give his aunt a maudlin greeting card, Jake looked for one that was more in line with her snarky sense of humor.
"There are scenes of violence, grieving, hardship and heartbreak, but 'Rags' never melts into a puddle of maudlin self-pity. It maintains an optimistic attitude." — James Gill, The New Orleans Advocate, 25 Oct. 2017
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of maudlin: ONLCYIG.VIEW THE ANSWER
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