Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Botany Lacking the top branches as a result of age or decay.
  • adj. Infirm; feeble.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Simple past tense and past participle of dodder.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Shattered; infirm.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Overgrown with dodder; covered with parasitic plants.

Etymologies

Probably alteration of dodded, past participle of dialectal dod, to lop off, from Middle English dodden, perhaps from dodde, a measure of grain.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Some comprimario and secondo roles were doubled up: Vladimir Hristov was both a George Clooney-suave Marchese d'Obigny and a bland Dr. Grenvil; Giorgio Dinev, previously seen enjoyably blustering as Tosca's Spoletta, doddered formulaically as Violetta's servant, but had mischevious sparkle as Gastone — having introduced his friend Alfredo to Violetta, he worked the room, pointing out his handiwork to the other guests, a proud yenta.

    Archive 2008-03-01

  • But the sight is no ways strange, young man; when the summer fades into autumn, and moonlight nights are long, and roads become unsafe, you will see a cluster of ten, ay of twenty such acorns, hanging on that old doddered oak. —

    Quentin Durward

  • 'Well I'm a creationist and I hope you fail,' he said with some vehemence and doddered off without a word of thanks.

    The Beagle Project on the BBC and cut dead by creationists on a train.

  • An elderly woman doddered out of a back room with a walker.

    ELECTION!

  • The head librarian, who could have posed for Norman Rockwell, doddered about the place fluffing up the books and tidying the shelves.

    1 800 GOA WAYY

  • Yet Martin approved the shadow on his path: he found a charm in the spectral aspect of the doddered oak.

    Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte

  • With a faint deprecatory chuckle, as if to say that he would have enjoyed this had life put him in the habit of enjoying anything, Merlin doddered away to the back of his shop where his treasures were kept, to get this latest investment which he had picked up rather cheaply at the sale of a big collection.

    Tales of the Jazz Age

  • The turf was verdant, the gravelled walks were white; sun-bright nasturtiums clustered beautiful about the roots of the doddered orchard giants.

    Villette

  • I shut the garret-door; I placed my light on a doddered and mouldy chest of drawers; I put on a shawl, for the air was ice-cold; I took my letter; trembling with sweet impatience, I broke its seal.

    Villette

  • He no doubt regarded him as some old hack who had doddered his life away up-country, and could now not treat even a case of dysentery without the aid of a younger man.

    Ultima Thule

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