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[kur-dl] /ˈkɜr dl/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), curdled, curdling.
to change into curd; coagulate; congeal.
to spoil; turn sour.
to go wrong; turn bad or fail:
Their friendship began to curdle as soon as they became business rivals.
curdle the / one's blood, to fill a person with horror or fear; terrify:
a scream that curdled the blood.
Origin of curdle
1580-90; curd + -le
Related forms
curdler, noun
noncurdling, adjective, noun
uncurdled, adjective
uncurdling, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for curdle
  • Fresh warm milk is an ideal food for many kinds of bacteria, especially the common one which causes milk to sour and curdle.
  • Because bacteria slowly sour milk, old milk may be acidic enough to curdle instantly when added to hot coffee or tea.
  • Anger and frustration curdle in rival political camps, fed by a partisan press.
  • Do not allow sauce to boil or egg yolks will curdle.
  • The eggs must be kept below the boiling point or the mixture will curdle.
  • The poly-acrylic-acid might then precipitate or curdle a little, reducing its clarity.
  • Add oysters to cream sauce, taking great care not to curdle milk.
British Dictionary definitions for curdle


to turn or cause to turn into curd
curdle someone's blood, to fill someone with fear
Derived Forms
curdler, noun
Word Origin
C16 (crudled, past participle): from curd
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 curdle

1630s (earlier crudle, 1580s), "to thicken, cause to congeal," frequentative of curd (v.) "to make into curd" (late 14c.; see curd). Of blood, in figurative sense "to inspire horror" from c.1600. Related: Curdled (1590); curdling (c.1700, almost always with reference to blood, in the figurative sense).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for curdle



To offend; disgust: ''It curdles me'' ¼ ''I loathe it'' (1940s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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