One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verb[no object]often as adjective doddering
Tremble or totter, typically because of old age.‘that doddering old fool’
tottering, tottery, teetering, doddery, staggering, shuffling, shambling, faltering, shaking, shaky, unsteady, wobbly, wobbling, trembling, trembly, quiveringtotter, teeter, toddle, hobble, shuffle, shamble, falter, walk haltingly, walk with difficulty, move falteringly, stumble, stagger, sway, lurch, reelView synonyms
- ‘It is sixty years since the fall of the Third Reich, and the hunted monster is now a pathetic and doddering old man in his nineties.’
- ‘She took note of the open plan bars and restaurants, the oppressive fluorescent lights and the doddering passengers wandering aimlessly trying to kill time.’
- ‘We watch him dodder and disintegrate, and we sympathize.’
- ‘A passing, elderly couple gave us a concerned glance as they doddered past.’
- ‘Jaques is looked upon as something of a doddering old fool by some of his younger comrades, but as Wright plays him, he's far, far more.’
- ‘But I won't be left doddering here like some incapable ninny.’
- ‘The fact that the leader of the free world used to be a doddering old guy completely out of touch with reality seems more cute than menacing these days.’
- ‘He is famous for doddering around with a camera crew in tow, picking up strange slithery beasts that look like they might bite him and poking sticks at them.’
- ‘The Levi's name has grown into doddering old age in a brutally competitive apparel market.’
- ‘The old gardener made an incoherent sound, dropped the basket and fled, doddering on those peculiar Rris ankle joints.’
- ‘Perhaps in her doddering senility, she was subconsciously confusing it with all the dry sherry she was knocking back.’
- ‘As he dodders about, still actively producing art, he relates stories from his life to his young daughter.’
- ‘You're not really working, but neither are you decrepit and doddering into some home with Alzheimer's.’
- ‘A character who is presumably either her doddering old grandmother or mother-in-law comes out with some cups of tea.’
- ‘The town treats its older hotels like a doddering uncle who needs to be put away.’
- ‘The king is a doddering old fool, and his son is so love-struck that he is not fit to be ruler of a great nation.’
- ‘They come on Uncle Junior's recommendation, but they prove to be doddering old fools with bad or no eyesight.’
- ‘He's like a doddering old man sitting in his horse and buggy, shaking his liver spot covered fist at passing automobiles.’
- ‘Am I mistaken in thinking you still want to stand around talking like a doddering fool?’
- ‘That's because you're a doddering old recluse who doesn't get out of the house nearly half as much as is good for you.’
Early 17th century: variant of obsolete dialect dadder; related to dither.
A widely distributed parasitic climbing plant of the convolvulus family, with leafless threadlike stems that are attached to the host plant by means of suckers.
Genus Cuscuta, family Convolvulaceae
- ‘Eventually a mat of stems forms around the host plant and the dodder loses contact with the soil.’
- ‘Because C. arvensis is more closely related to the dodders than is tobacco, C. arvensis was also used as a control.’
- ‘Then the dodder snakes around its new host, grows into a large stringy mass, and ultimately chokes and kills its lifeline.’
- ‘By tying suitable stem explants of dodder to touch the host, Kelly observed that 60% of individuals rejected suitable hosts within several hours.’
Middle English: related to Middle Low German doder, dodder, Middle High German toter.
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