One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Tremble or totter, typically because of old age.‘that doddering old fool’‘spent and nerve-weary, I doddered into the foyer of a third-rate hotel’
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
- ‘We watch him dodder and disintegrate, and we sympathize.’
- ‘He's like a doddering old man sitting in his horse and buggy, shaking his liver spot covered fist at passing automobiles.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘You're not really working, but neither are you decrepit and doddering into some home with Alzheimer's.’
- ‘But I won't be left doddering here like some incapable ninny.’
- ‘A passing, elderly couple gave us a concerned glance as they doddered past.’
- ‘She took note of the open plan bars and restaurants, the oppressive fluorescent lights and the doddering passengers wandering aimlessly trying to kill time.’
- ‘Perhaps in her doddering senility, she was subconsciously confusing it with all the dry sherry she was knocking back.’
- ‘The town treats its older hotels like a doddering uncle who needs to be put away.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The Levi's name has grown into doddering old age in a brutally competitive apparel market.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘They come on Uncle Junior's recommendation, but they prove to be doddering old fools with bad or no eyesight.’
- ‘Am I mistaken in thinking you still want to stand around talking like a doddering fool?’
- ‘A character who is presumably either her doddering old grandmother or mother-in-law comes out with some cups of tea.’
- ‘The old gardener made an incoherent sound, dropped the basket and fled, doddering on those peculiar Rris ankle joints.’
- ‘As he dodders about, still actively producing art, he relates stories from his life to his young daughter.’
- ‘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.’
Early 17th century: variant of obsolete dialect dadder; related to dither.
A widely distributed parasitic climbing plant of the morning glory family, with leafless threadlike stems that are attached to the host plant by means of suckers.
Genus Cuscuta, family Convolvulaceae
- ‘By tying suitable stem explants of dodder to touch the host, Kelly observed that 60% of individuals rejected suitable hosts within several hours.’
- ‘Then the dodder snakes around its new host, grows into a large stringy mass, and ultimately chokes and kills its lifeline.’
- ‘Because C. arvensis is more closely related to the dodders than is tobacco, C. arvensis was also used as a control.’
- ‘Eventually a mat of stems forms around the host plant and the dodder loses contact with the soil.’
Middle English: related to Middle Low German doder, dodder, Middle High German toter.
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