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[dod-er] /ˈdɒd ər/
verb (used without object)
to shake; tremble; totter.
Origin of dodder1
1610-20; cf. dither, totter, teeter, etc.
Related forms
dodderer, noun


[dod-er] /ˈdɒd ər/
a leafless parasitic plant, Cuscuta gronovii, having dense clusters of small, white, bell-shaped flowers on orange-yellow stems that twine about clover or flax.
Also called love vine.
1225-75; Middle English doder; cognate with Dutch, Danish dodder, Middle Low German dod(d)er, Middle High German toter, German Dotter Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dodder
Historical Examples
  • When you come to doddering, Jacob, it's better to dodder in the paths you know.

    Lady Rose's Daughter Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Species of dodder are difficult to distinguish one from the other.

    Seeds of Michigan Weeds W. J. (William James) Beal
  • You hate to see her run—you want to see her dodder about like an old man.

    Bolanyo Opie Percival Read
  • The minute you dodder about a man or a woman, there's sure to be something' to dodder about.

    The Voice in the Fog Harold MacGrath
  • Ivy ne'er clasp'd A dodder'd oak, as round the other's limbs The hideous monster intertwin'd his own.

    The Vision of Hell, Part 8 Dante Alighieri
  • The cupbears found no drink for him in the dodder (a river), and the dodder had flowed through the house.

  • It is, in fact, a parasitic dead-nettle, a trifle less degenerate as yet than the dodder.

  • Oaks covered with dodder, that is, with parasitic plants, and therefore dead or dying.

    Palamon and Arcite John Dryden
  • Some called it Dodora, after the princess, and this was changed at last to 'dodder' by those who did not know.

  • The dodder then loses its hold upon the soil and gets its food entirely from the alfalfa plants, which it ultimately destroys.

British Dictionary definitions for dodder


verb (intransitive)
to move unsteadily; totter
to shake or tremble, as from age
Derived Forms
dodderer, noun
doddery, adjective
Word Origin
C17: variant of earlier dadder; related to Norwegian dudra to tremble


any rootless parasitic plant of the convolvulaceous genus Cuscuta, lacking chlorophyll and having slender twining stems with suckers for drawing nourishment from the host plant, scalelike leaves, and whitish flowers
Word Origin
C13: of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch, Middle Low German dodder, Middle High German toter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dodder

1610s, perhaps from Middle English daderen "to quake, tremble" (late 15c.), apparently frequentative of dialectal dade, on a form similar to totter, patter. Related: Doddered; doddering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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