addle

[ ad-l ]
/ ˈæd l /

verb (used with or without object), ad·dled, ad·dling.

to make or become confused.
to make or become rotten, as eggs.

adjective

mentally confused; muddled.
rotten: addle eggs.

Origin of addle

before 1000; Middle English adel rotten, Old English adela liquid, filth; cognate with Middle Low German adele liquid manure

Related forms

un·ad·dled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for addling

  • And what in the world do you want to be addling your brains with a Latin grammar for, when there's other need for your eyes?

    Clementina|A.E.W. Mason
  • This is a beast of a letter, but I am not well, and have been addling my head.

  • She read feverishly all she could find on the subject, ending by addling her brains to the point of frenzy.

    The Sturdy Oak|Samuel Merwin, et al.

British Dictionary definitions for addling (1 of 2)

addle

1
/ (ˈædəl) /

verb

to make or become confused or muddled
to make or become rotten

adjective

(in combination) indicating a confused or muddled stateaddle-brained; addle-pated

Word Origin for addle

C18: (vb), back formation from addled, from c13 addle rotten, from Old English adela filth; related to dialect German Addel liquid manure

British Dictionary definitions for addling (2 of 2)

addle

2
/ (ˈædəl) /

verb

Northern English dialect to earn (money or one's living)

Word Origin for addle

C13: addlen, from Old Norse öthlask to gain possession of property, from ōthal property
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