verb (used with object), fud·dled, fud·dling.

to muddle or confuse: a jumble of sounds to fuddle the senses.
to make drunk; intoxicate.

verb (used without object), fud·dled, fud·dling.

to tipple.


a confused state; muddle; jumble.

Origin of fuddle

First recorded in 1580–90; origin uncertain
Related formsun·fud·dled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fuddle

Historical Examples of fuddle

  • You'll give a body a furlough, by the way of blowing off the fuddle he has on hand?

    An Outcast

    F. Colburn Adams

  • One day Mr. Kordé had drunk himself into an unusual state of fuddle.

    The Day of Wrath

    Maurus Jkai

  • But there is no doubt that the lion of the evening was—the “fuddle.”

    The Walrus Hunters

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • Thee-ing and thou-ing till it is enough to fuddle a sober man's wits.

    The Great Quest

    Charles Boardman Hawes

  • Nazinred and Mozwa had never seen anything of the kind before, or heard the strains of a “fuddle.”

    The Walrus Hunters

    R.M. Ballantyne

British Dictionary definitions for fuddle



(tr; often passive) to cause to be confused or intoxicated
(intr) to drink excessively; tipple


a muddled or confused state

Word Origin for fuddle

C16: of unknown origin
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 fuddle

1580s, originally "to get drunk," later "to confuse as though with drink" (c.1600), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Low German fuddeln "work in a slovenly manner (as if drunk)," from fuddle "worthless cloth." The more common derivative befuddle appeared 1887. Related: Fuddled; fuddling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper