Definition of addle in US English:

addle

verb

[with object]humorous
  • Make unable to think clearly; confuse.

    ‘being in love must have addled your brain’
    • ‘I think the alcohol from last night has addled your brain, because you couldn't be more far off.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Try as I may, though, it's been a dull day, with my brain partly addled by pain-killers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This damned heat has addled many people's wits, mine included: made us sluggish, unquestioning, apathetic.’
    • ‘Was it conceivable that the drugs he had been given for pain had permanently addled his brain?’
    • ‘He felt silly that he'd allowed her muddled ravings to addle him in the first place.’
    • ‘Has that second bottle of Beaujolais addled his brain, inducing some kind of hallucinatory fever?’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘That swim you took must have addled your brains more than I thought.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It must have really addled his brain for him not to understand something this basic and this obvious.’
    • ‘The fact that she was even considering the idea showed that he'd quite addled her brain, she thought.’
    • ‘This was all very strange to Helano; it was confusing and addling her brain.’
    • ‘We're addled by Arizona's talent, impressed by the Wildcats' intensity, and downright dipsy-doodled by their depth.’
    • ‘Even though my brain is addled with cough syrup and Advil, the fabulous feeling of freedom is not lost on me.’
    muddled, confused, fuddled, befuddled, bewildered, dazed, dizzy, disoriented, disorientated, stupefied, unbalanced, unhinged, demented, deranged
    View synonyms

adjective

archaic
  • (of an egg) rotten.

Origin

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’.

Pronunciation

addle

/ˈædl//ˈadl/