Definition of coddle in English:



  • 1Treat (someone) in an indulgent or overprotective way:

    ‘I was coddled and cosseted’
    • ‘He does not spoon-feed or coddle his audience; he does not always explain all the minute particulars of every event he discusses.’
    • ‘Your article omits this information, and implies with a high level of certainty that such treatment never happened, and that she was essentially coddled.’
    • ‘The early missions coddle the player closely, and provide a comfortable introduction to the game's features.’
    • ‘Some may think of us as a nanny state, given the way we coddle our citizens with free health care and equality provisions.’
    • ‘I watched in amazement as the players were coddled and treated like gods.’
    • ‘The D.A. of this county in New York takes on a system that she says coddles criminals.’
    • ‘We do not need to coddle our old people, just ensure them enough income to live adequately.’
    • ‘Have you any idea how much harm you are doing Anya by coddling her in this manner?’
    • ‘Successive governments have coddled criminals, allowed them free rein to the point where they believe they own parties and governments.’
    • ‘Being an intelligent child, she really resented the way that she was being coddled.’
    • ‘They relocated eggs and birds to new areas and coddled them.’
    • ‘They never wanted to be like the couples who coddled their pets like children.’
    • ‘In the long run - even in the medium run - coddling dictators backfires.’
    • ‘Despite being coddled at the nursery with fertilizer and water, the plants face transplant stress.’
    • ‘She sounded like a very concerned mother coddling her frightened child.’
    • ‘I'm not convinced we should coddle people who, by the time they reach the postdoc level, are so insecure they won't even apply for the jobs they actually want.’
    • ‘I was the only child in the family, and I was coddled by my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.’
    • ‘Being the baby of the family he was coddled and treated like glass, as if he would break.’
    • ‘In the long-term we do them no favors by allowing them to coddle our mutual enemies.’
    • ‘I want to baby you, and coddle you, and spoil you for the rest of my life.’
    pamper, cosset, mollycoddle, wait on someone hand and foot, cater to someone's every whim
    spoil, indulge, overindulge, humour, pander to
    spoon-feed, feather-bed, wrap in cotton wool, overparent
    pet, baby, mother, nanny
    View synonyms
  • 2Cook (an egg) in water below boiling point:

    ‘you may have your eggs scrambled, poached, coddled, or boiled’
    • ‘Eggs can be cooked easily and quickly in any number of pleasant ways - poached, fried, scrambled, boiled, coddled, baked and even deep-fried.’
    • ‘If you don't know how to coddle an egg, here's how: Poke a hole in the bottom with a pin.’


Late 16th century (in the sense ‘boil (fruit) gently’): origin uncertain; coddle is probably a dialect variant of obsolete caudle ‘administer invalids' gruel’, based on Latin caldum hot drink, from calidus warm.