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Word of the Day
Sunday, November 02, 2008

Definitions for addle

  1. to make or become muddled or confused
  2. to make or become rotten or putrid

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Citations for addle
As TV audiences saw, it was enough to addle Fellow Oscar Winner Jon Voight's brain for the rest of the night. Frank Rich, Time
United Nations troops waited to take up their posts as guards to ensure that no liquor, women or bribe money was smuggled in to addle the judgment of the Deputies. , Time
Origin of addle
by 1712, from addle (n.) "urine, liquid filth," from Old English adela "mud, mire, liquid manure" (cognate with Old Swedish adel "urine," Middle Low German adel, Dutch aal "puddle"). Used in noun phrase addle egg (c.1250) "egg that does not hatch, rotten egg," literally "urine egg," a loan translation of Latin ovum urinum, which is itself an erroneous loan translation of Greek ourion oon "putrid egg," literally "wind egg," from ourios "of the wind" (confused by Roman writers with ourios "of urine," from ouron "urine"). Because of this usage, the noun in English was taken as an adjective from c. 1600, meaning "putrid," and thence given a figurative extension to "empty, vain, idle," also "confused, muddled, unsound" (1706). The verb followed.