1 a : dull or expressionless especially from continued indulgence in alcoholic beverages
2 a : heavy with or as if with moisture or water
b : heavy or doughy because of imperfect cooking
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 drinking. 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.
"… with these apt closing words Mr. Slyme fell forward with his head upon the table, and so declined into a sodden sleep." — Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, 1844
"I'll never forget [football quarterback Eli] Manning repeatedly rising up from the sodden San Francisco turf, literally pulling pieces of the field from his facemask." — Tara Sullivan, The Boston Globe, 7 Oct. 2019
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
What synonym of sodden meaning "sluggish" is also part of a synonymous term for noble gas?VIEW THE ANSWER
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