One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1humorous with object Make (someone) unable to think clearly; confuse.‘being in love must have addled your brain’
muddled, confused, fuddled, befuddled, bewildered, dazed, dizzy, disoriented, disorientated, stupefied, unbalanced, unhinged, demented, derangedView synonyms
- ‘That swim you took must have addled your brains more than I thought.’
- ‘Was it conceivable that the drugs he had been given for pain had permanently addled his brain?’
- ‘The drugs have addled him so much that it takes pot, alcohol, ecstasy, Special K and GHB to give him that special happy feeling now when he goes out.’
- ‘‘Your friend,’ stated Jeff and went to his own room, no doubt to immerse himself in all his stupid computer games that I was sure was addling his brain.’
- ‘Try as I may, though, it's been a dull day, with my brain partly addled by pain-killers.’
- ‘This damned heat has addled many people's wits, mine included: made us sluggish, unquestioning, apathetic.’
- ‘It must have really addled his brain for him not to understand something this basic and this obvious.’
- ‘I vaguely remember a similarly soaked occasion when I was a child, where I tried to shake like a dog and my mother said it addled the brain.’
- ‘Even though my brain is addled with cough syrup and Advil, the fabulous feeling of freedom is not lost on me.’
- ‘We're addled by Arizona's talent, impressed by the Wildcats' intensity, and downright dipsy-doodled by their depth.’
- ‘I think the alcohol from last night has addled your brain, because you couldn't be more far off.’
- ‘Has that second bottle of Beaujolais addled his brain, inducing some kind of hallucinatory fever?’
- ‘He felt silly that he'd allowed her muddled ravings to addle him in the first place.’
- ‘The fact that she was even considering the idea showed that he'd quite addled her brain, she thought.’
- ‘He knew the drugs Paul had given him would addle his brain, but surely not to the extent he couldn't follow a conversation with his little brother.’
- ‘This was all very strange to Helano; it was confusing and addling her brain.’
- ‘The Bethany Bash is to be held this Friday and Saturday and aptly called ‘Double Bheja Fry’ because it promises to addle your brains with fun and frolic.’
2no object (of an egg) become rotten, producing no chick.‘the extremely hot and dry weather had caused the eggs to addle’
rotten, off, decayed, decomposed, decomposing, putrid, putrefied, putrescent, mouldy, moulderingView synonyms
- ‘There is an unpleasant smell in the goose shed and we suspect that the early laid eggs have addled.’
- ‘At 106 degrees, the eggs will addle (become unviable) or nestlings will die of heat stress.’
- ‘If a bird keeps leaving her eggs and only pops in for a quick visit from time to time, the eggs will addle and come to nothing.’
- ‘There she was, sitting as usual, and I was so concerned, believing that due to my interference all the eggs had addled—for I thought the hatching time was three weeks.’
1in combination Not clear or cogent; muddled.‘the film is addle-brained’
2archaic (of an egg) rotten.
Middle English (in addle (sense 2 of the adjective)): from Old English adela ‘liquid filth’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch aal and German Adel ‘mire, puddle’.
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