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

  • adj. Mentally unbalanced; crazy.
  • adj. Amusingly eccentric or unconventional.
  • adj. Ridiculous or absurd: a dotty scheme.
  • adj. Having a feeble or unsteady gait; shaky.
  • adj. Obsessively infatuated or enamored.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having many dots.
  • adj. Mildly insane or excessively preoccupied; often, senile.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Composed of, or characterized by, dots.
  • adj. Unsteady in gait; hence, feeble; half-witted.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having dots; covered or characterized by dots: as, a low, dotty underwood.
  • Of unsteady gait; feeble and tottering, as from stiffness or lameness: as, to be a little dotty on one's feet.
  • Feeble-minded; silly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. informal or slang terms for mentally irregular
  • adj. intensely enthusiastic about or preoccupied with


Probably alteration of Scots dottle, silly, from Middle English doten, to dote.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
dot +‎ -y (Wiktionary)



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  • -- Who is he if it's a fair question, Mrs Breen asked. Is he dotty?
    Joyce, Ulysses, 8

    January 3, 2007