Last modified on 7 October 2014, at 16:54

maudlin

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Maudelen, Middle English form of Mary Magdalene (typically depicted weeping), from Old French Madelaine, from Late Latin Magdalena.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

maudlin (plural maudlins)

  1. (obsolete, Christianity) The Magdalene; Mary Magdalene. [14th-16th c.]
    • c. 1400, Nicholas Love (trans.), The Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ:
      for alle they worſchipden hir ſouereynly / as worthy was / but ſpecially Mawdelayne / that wolde neuere departe fro hir.
  2. (botany, now historical) Either of two aromatic plants, costmary or sweet yarrow. [from 15th c.]
    • 1653, Nicholas Culpeper, The English Physician Enlarged, Folio Society 2007, p. 186:
      Common Maudlin have somewhat long and narrow leaves, snipped about the edges.
  3. (obsolete) A Magdalene house; a brothel. [17th c.]

AdjectiveEdit

maudlin (comparative more maudlin, superlative most maudlin)

  1. Affectionate or sentimental in an effusive, tearful, or foolish manner, especially because of drunkenness. [from 17th c.]
    • around 1900, O. Henry, The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball
      He was a drunkard, and had not known it. What he had fondly imagined was a pleasant exhilaration had been maudlin intoxication.
  2. Extravagantly or excessively sentimental; mawkish, self-pitying. [from 17th c.]
    • 1961, CS Lewis, A Grief Observed
      On the rebound one passes into tears and pathos. Maudlin tears. I almost prefer the moments of agony. These are at least clean and honest. But the bath of self-pity, the wallow, the loathsome sticky-sweet pleasure of indulging it — that disgusts me.
  3. (obsolete) Tearful, lachrymose. [17th-19th c.]

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