verb (used with or without object)

to make or become sodden.
Obsolete. past participle of seethe.

Origin of sodden

1250–1300; Middle English soden, sothen, past participle of sethen to seethe
Related formssod·den·ly, adverbsod·den·ness, noun



verb (used without object), seethed or (Obsolete) sod; seethed or (Obsolete) sod·den or sod; seeth·ing.

to surge or foam as if boiling.
to be in a state of agitation or excitement.
Archaic. to boil.

verb (used with object), seethed or (Obsolete) sod; seethed or (Obsolete) sod·den or sod; seeth·ing.

to soak or steep.
to cook by boiling or simmering; boil.


the act of seething.
the state of being agitated or excited.

Origin of seethe

before 900; Middle English; Old English sēothan; cognate with German sieden, Swedish sjuda
Related formsseeth·ing·ly, adverbun·seethed, adjectiveun·seeth·ing, adjective

Synonym study

2. See boil1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sodden

Contemporary Examples of sodden

Historical Examples of sodden

  • His complexion was pale and sodden, and his hair short, dark, and sleek.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • When dawn came, they were on the move, glad to stretch their sodden limbs.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • Then he replaced the sodden end of his cigarette between them.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • The colours were indistinguishable at the distance, drenched and sodden.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

  • Her hair, streaming down in a sodden mass, was matted with blood.

    The World Beyond

    Raymond King Cummings

British Dictionary definitions for sodden



completely saturated
  1. dulled, esp by excessive drinking
  2. (in combination)a drink-sodden mind
heavy or doughy, as bread is when improperly cooked


to make or become sodden
Derived Formssoddenly, adverbsoddenness, noun

Word Origin for sodden

C13 soden, past participle of seethe



(intr) to boil or to foam as if boiling
(intr) to be in a state of extreme agitation, esp through anger
(tr) to soak in liquid
(tr) archaic to cook or extract the essence of (a food) by boiling


the act or state of seething

Word Origin for seethe

Old English sēothan; related to Old Norse sjōtha, Old High German siodan to seethe
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 sodden

"soaked or softened in water," 1820, earlier "resembling something that has been boiled a long time" (1590s), originally "boiled" (c.1300), from Old English soden "boiled," strong past participle of seoþan "to cook, boil" (see seethe). For sense evolution from "heat in water" to "immerse in water" cf. bath.



Old English seoþan "to boil," also figuratively, "be troubled in mind, brood" (class II strong verb; past tense seaþ, past participle soden), from Proto-Germanic *seuthan (cf. Old Norse sjoða, Old Frisian siatha, Dutch zieden, Old High German siodan, German sieden "to seethe"), from PIE root *seut- "to seethe, boil."

Driven out of its literal meaning by boil (v.); it survives largely in metaphoric extensions. Figurative use, of persons or populations, "to be in a state of inward agitation" is recorded from 1580s (implied in seething). It had wider figurative uses in Old English, e.g. "to try by fire, to afflict with cares." Now conjugated as a weak verb, and past participle sodden (q.v.) is no longer felt as connected.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper