Definitions

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

  • n. A sullen, angry, or indignant humor: "Slamming the door in Meg's face, Aunt March drove off in high dudgeon” ( Louisa May Alcott).
  • n. Obsolete A kind of wood used in making knife handles.
  • n. Archaic A dagger with a hilt made of this wood.
  • n. Archaic The hilt of a dagger.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A kind of wood used especially in the handles of knives.
  • n. A hilt made of this wood.
  • n. A dagger which has a dudgeon hilt.
  • n. A feeling of anger or resentment (usually only in set terms, below).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The root of the box tree, of which hafts for daggers were made.
  • n. The haft of a dagger.
  • n. A dudgeon-hafted dagger; a dagger.
  • n. Resentment; ill will; anger; displeasure.
  • adj. Homely; rude; coarse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A stave of a barrel or cask.
  • n. Wood for staves: same as dudgeon-tree.
  • n. Some kind of wood having a mottled grain; or the wooden hilt of a dagger, ornamented with graven lines.
  • n. The hilt of a dagger. See dudgeon-haft.
  • n. A dagger. See dudgeon-dagger.
  • Ornamented with graven lines; full of wavy lines; curiously veined or mottled.
  • n. A feeling of offense; resentmont; sullen anger; ill will; discord.
  • Rude; unpolished.

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

  • n. a feeling of intense indignation (now used only in the phrase `in high dudgeon')

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
Middle English dogeon, possibly from Anglo-Norman.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Apparently from Anglo-Norman or Middle French, but the ultimate origin is obscure. (Wiktionary)
Origin uncertain; perhaps the same as Etymology 1, above. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • More bloviation and high dudgeon from the White House on the reporting of the bank records data mining: Speaking at a fund-raising event in St. Louis for Senator Jim Talent, Mr. Bush made the news reports his central theme.

    June 2006

  • The animal was restive, took the stone very much in dudgeon, ran, and carrying his rider under a tree, Mr. Randolph's forehead was struck by a low-lying limb, and he was thrown off.

    Melbourne House

  • We waited by the hedge-side for several minutes – Mr. Charles ceased his urging, half in dudgeon, save that he was too pleasant a man really to take offence at anything.

    John Halifax, Gentleman

  • So the carpet-woman went off in dudgeon, for she was sure there would not be time enough to do anything.

    The Peterkin Papers

  • The man walked off in dudgeon, and Mr. Westwyn, losing his anger in his astonishment at this effrontery, said, 'And pray, Mr. Lynmere, what do you pretend to know of Stilton cheese? do they make it at Leipsic? did you ever so much as taste it in your life?'

    Camilla: or, A Picture of Youth

  • I take my leave in what you call the dudgeon - and word flies from mouth to mouth that Blowitz is beaten, that he sulks like a spoiled child, my rivals rejoice at my failure - and breathe sighs of relief ... and all the time the treaty is here - "he tapped his breast, chortling" - and tomorrow it will appear in The Times and in no other paper in the world! "

    Watershed

  • But, finding himself passed over, when others were promoted, he had gone off homeward in dudgeon.

    This Country of Ours: The Story of the United States

  • Do you think I would be dressed like a boy? cried Nora, in dudgeon.

    Melbourne House

  • But I took little heed of her, being in a kind of dudgeon, and oppressed with evil luck; believing too that all she wanted was to have some little grumble about some petty grievance.

    Lorna Doone

  • So that for several years during the late period, the gentry, finding no advantage from preserving the spawning fish, neglected the matter altogether in a kind of dudgeon, and the peasantry laid them waste at their will.

    The Journal of Sir Walter Scott From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford

Comments

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  • Umbrage.

    October 15, 2011

  • "Musty shied back, hissing like a kettle, and stalked in dudgeon to the hummock which marked the very tip of Coos Hill." From Wizard and Glass by Stephen King.

    January 22, 2011

  • ...or that one's name can reflect the disposition of one's ancestors.

    May 26, 2010

  • When I was a kid there was a very tough boy in the neighborhood with the last name Dudgeon. Adds credence to the idea that once's name can influence one's behavior.

    May 25, 2010

  • One morning early, I gave in my accounts with a very sulky air; she took them from me in moody silence, and we parted in a sort of well-bred dudgeon.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 4 ch. 7

    September 18, 2008

  • Yes, of course. And this is the other meaning of dudgeon - a wooden dagger handle.

    April 12, 2008

  • “I see thee still,
    And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,
    Which was not so before.�?
    (Macbeth)

    April 12, 2008