[ kur-dl ]
/ ˈkɜr dl /

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

to change into curd; coagulate; congeal.
to spoil; turn sour.
to go wrong; turn bad or fail: Their friendship began to curdle as soon as they became business rivals.


    curdle the/one's blood, to fill a person with horror or fear; terrify: a scream that curdled the blood.

Origin of curdle

First recorded in 1580–90; curd + -le
Related formscur·dler, nounnon·cur·dling, adjective, nounun·cur·dled, adjectiveun·cur·dling, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for curdle

British Dictionary definitions for curdle


/ (ˈkɜːdəl) /


to turn or cause to turn into curd
curdle someone's blood to fill someone with fear
Derived Formscurdler, noun

Word Origin for curdle

C16 (crudled, past participle): from curd
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

Word Origin and History for curdle



1630s (earlier crudle, 1580s), "to thicken, cause to congeal," frequentative of curd (v.) "to make into curd" (late 14c.; see curd). Of blood, in figurative sense "to inspire horror" from c.1600. Related: Curdled (1590); curdling (c.1700, almost always with reference to blood, in the figurative sense).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper