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[dod-er-ing] /ˈdɒd ər ɪŋ/
shaky or trembling, as from old age; tottering:
a doddering old man.
Also, doddery
[dod-uh-ree] /ˈdɒd ə ri/ (Show IPA)
Origin of doddering
First recorded in 1735-45; dodder1 + -ing2


[dod-er] /ˈdɒd ər/
verb (used without object)
to shake; tremble; totter.
1610-20; cf. dither, totter, teeter, etc.
Related forms
dodderer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for doddering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That I'm either as big a liar as he says you are or a fool—a doddering fool.

    Frenzied Finance Thomas W. Lawson
  • The doddering in the case was not confined to that individual.

    Pickwickian Studies Percy Fitzgerald
  • There also, as at Terracina, ancient and doddering men acted as chambermaids.

    A Tramp's Notebook Morley Roberts
  • But as soon as he confronted the doddering and blinking toper, he was helpless.

    Excuse Me! Rupert Hughes
  • I'll have the flat of my sword at your hinder quarters for a doddering void-pate!

    The Red Tavern

    Charles Raymond Macauley
  • I do not want your camp, but do you want to guide a doddering old man?

    Double Challenge James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • He reeled and swayed, doddering like a drunken man to keep from falling.

    Love of Life Jack London
  • Only old Japp can stick it out, and he's too old and doddering to care about moving.

    Prester John John Buchan
British Dictionary definitions for doddering


shaky, feeble, or infirm, esp from old age


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 doddering



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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