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addle

[ad-l] /ˈæd l/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), addled, addling.
1.
to make or become confused.
2.
to make or become rotten, as eggs.
adjective
3.
mentally confused; muddled.
4.
rotten:
addle eggs.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English adel rotten, Old English adela liquid, filth; cognate with Middle Low German adele liquid manure
Related forms
unaddled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for addle
  • Thy head is as full of quarrels as an egg is full of meat, and yet thy head hath been beaten as addle as an egg for quarrelling.
  • Any idea of attempting to follow this story might easily result in one becoming as addle-brained as are some of the characters.
  • Learn more about the ecology of geese and their behavior, how to locate and identify goose nesting areas and how to addle eggs.
British Dictionary definitions for addle

addle1

/ˈædəl/
verb
1.
to make or become confused or muddled
2.
to make or become rotten
adjective
3.
(in combination) indicating a confused or muddled state: addle-brained, addle-pated
Word Origin
C18: (vb), back formation from addled, from c13 addle rotten, from Old English adela filth; related to dialect German Addel liquid manure

addle2

/ˈædəl/
verb
1.
(Northern English, dialect) to earn (money or one's living)
Word Origin
C13: addlen, from Old Norse öthlask to gain possession of property, from ōthal property
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for addle
v.

1712, from addle (n.) "urine, liquid filth," from Old English adela "mud, mire, liquid manure" (cognate with Old Swedish adel "urine," Middle Low German adel, Dutch aal "puddle").

Used in noun phrase addle egg (mid-13c.) "egg that does not hatch, rotten egg," literally "urine egg," a loan-translation of Latin ovum urinum, which is itself an erroneous loan-translation of Greek ourion oon "putrid egg," literally "wind egg," from ourios "of the wind" (confused by Roman writers with ourios "of urine," from ouron "urine"). Because of this usage, from c.1600 the noun in English was taken as an adjective meaning "putrid," and thence given a figurative extension to "empty, vain, idle," also "confused, muddled, unsound" (1706). The verb followed a like course. Related: Addled; addling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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