adjective, dot·ti·er, dot·ti·est. Informal.

crazy or eccentric.
feeble or unsteady in gait.
very enthusiastic or infatuated (usually followed by about or over).

Origin of dotty

1805–15; perhaps dott(ard) variant of dotard + -y1
Related formsdot·ti·ly, adverbdot·ti·ness, noun



adjective, dot·ti·er, dot·ti·est.

marked with dots; dotted.

Origin of dotty

First recorded in 1805–15; dot1 + -y1
Related formsdot·ti·ness, noun


or Dot·ty



a female given name, form of Dorothea and Dorothy. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dotty

Contemporary Examples of dotty

Historical Examples of dotty

  • Dotty unrolled herself from the curtain with a triumphant smile.

  • Dotty tried to think there might be time enough, after all, to find the rings.

  • At the mention of rings, Dotty blushed, and stole a glance at Mrs. Allen.

  • Why, Dotty, I've excused you to Mrs. Pragoff, and it wouldn't be polite to go now.

  • Dotty, it seems, was feeling very much like a bitter-sour apple.

British Dictionary definitions for dotty


adjective -tier or -tiest

slang, mainly British feeble-minded; slightly crazy
British slang (foll by about) extremely fond (of)
marked with dots
Derived Formsdottily, adverbdottiness, noun

Word Origin for dotty

C19: from dot 1 : sense development of 1 from meaning of "unsteady on one's feet"
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 dotty

1812, "full of dots," from dot (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "silly" is from c.1400, in dotypolle "dotty poll" (i.e. "dotty head"), in which case the first element is from dote (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper