• synonyms


See more synonyms for doddering on Thesaurus.com
  1. shaky or trembling, as from old age; tottering: a doddering old man.
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Also dod·der·y [dod-uh-ree] /ˈdɒd ə ri/.

Origin of doddering

First recorded in 1735–45; dodder1 + -ing2


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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

tottering, faltering, floundering, trembling, decrepit, infirm, senile, shaky, unsteady, weak, anile, dotard

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

British Dictionary definitions for doddering


  1. shaky, feeble, or infirm, esp from old age
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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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper