[ mawd-lin ]
/ ˈmɔd lɪn /


tearfully or weakly emotional; foolishly sentimental: a maudlin story of a little orphan and her lost dog.
foolishly or mawkishly sentimental because of drunkenness.

Nearby words

  1. mau-mau,
  2. maubeuge,
  3. mauby,
  4. mauchly,
  5. maud,
  6. maudlinly,
  7. maudslay,
  8. mauger,
  9. maugham,
  10. maugham, william somerset

Origin of maudlin

1500–10; special use of Maudlin, Middle English MaudelenLate Latin Magdalēnē < Greek Magdalēnḗ Mary Magdalene, portrayed in art as a weeping penitent

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for maudlin

British Dictionary definitions for maudlin


/ (ˈmɔːdlɪn) /


foolishly tearful or sentimental, as when drunk
Derived Formsmaudlinism, nounmaudlinly, adverbmaudlinness, noun

Word Origin for maudlin

C17: from Middle English Maudelen Mary Magdalene, typically portrayed as a tearful penitent

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 maudlin



c.1600, "tearful," from Middle English fem. proper name Maudelen (early 14c.), from Magdalene (Old French Madelaine), woman's name, originally surname of Mary the repentant sinner forgiven by Jesus in Luke vii:37 (see Magdalene). In paintings, she often was shown weeping as a sign of repentance. Meaning "characterized by tearful sentimentality" is recorded by 1630s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper