Meaning of ADDLE in English


I. ˈad ə l noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English adel, from Old English adela; akin to Middle Low German adele liquid manure, Swedish dialect adel animal urine, and perhaps to Greek onthos animal dung

now dialect Britain : stagnant or filthy liquid

II. adjective

Etymology: Middle English adel-, from adel, n.

1. of an egg : foul smelling and putrid : rotten


a. : empty , unsound

I wish him an ounce more wit in his addle head — William Robertson †1686

b. : confused , muddled

the brains of the people growing more and more addle — Edmund Burke

III. ˈad ə l verb

( addled ; addled ; addling -d( ə )liŋ ; addles )

transitive verb

: to throw into confusion or disorder : muddle , confound : make addle

no housing problem … to addle our heads — Irwin Edman

any thinking … is bound to be addled by inaccurate language — R.G.Swing

intransitive verb

1. : to become addle : spoil

not one of these eggs ever addled — Robert Southey

2. : to confuse or become confused

the object is to addle and not to elucidate — G.B.Shaw

IV. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English addlen, from Old Norse öthlask (reflexive verb) to acquire as property, from ōthal property — more at odal

transitive verb

now dialect England : to earn by labor : gain

intransitive verb

now dialect England : gain , thrive

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.