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See more synonyms for dodder on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to shake; tremble; totter.
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Origin of dodder1

1610–20; cf. dither, totter, teeter, etc.
Related formsdod·der·er, noun


  1. 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.
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Origin of dodder2

1225–75; Middle English doder; cognate with Dutch, Danish dodder, Middle Low German dod(d)er, Middle High German toter, German Dotter
Also called love vine.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

totter, quiver, wobble, tremble, shudder, stagger, shiver, teeter, sway

Examples from the Web for dodder

Historical Examples

  • And all we did was to go ahead and dodder along and beat Claflin seven to nothing!

    Left Guard Gilbert

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • How the dodder acquired this curious mode of life it is not difficult to see.

  • 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.


    Opie Percival Read

  • I would be a village "character" of the sort that is justly said to "dodder."

    The Boss of Little Arcady

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for dodder


verb (intr)
  1. to move unsteadily; totter
  2. to shake or tremble, as from age
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Derived Formsdodderer, noundoddery, adjective

Word Origin

C17: variant of earlier dadder; related to Norwegian dudra to tremble


  1. 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
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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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper