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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.
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 curdling
  • Add prawn stock, followed by coconut milk, stirring all the time to prevent curdling until it comes to boil.
  • Science and the supernatural collide over this blood-curdling mystery.
  • Also to prevent curdling, do not allow the mixture to boil.
  • It is not to engage in portraying blood-curdling violence for dramatic or shock value.
  • Relaxing for the first time into the normality of a loving family holiday, her happiness is shattered by a blood-curdling scream.
  • It gives a blood-curdling, nightmarish picture or monstrous disorder in a public school.
  • There are incidents that are supposed to be blood-curdling and others that are moderately amusing.
  • Many things can go wrong: curdling latex, dust in the mix, chemistry errors.
  • Suddenly there's a blood-curdling howl-one that's not in the script.
  • The paint shall show no curdling, livering, caking lumps or skins upon opening of container.
British Dictionary definitions for curdling


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 curdling



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 curdling



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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