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From Middle English from doten to dote


dotage (plural dotages)

  1. Decline in judgment and other cognitive functions, associated with aging; senility.
    • 1841, Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop, ch. 1,
      "More care!" said the old man. . . . There were in his face marks of deep and anxious thought which convinced me that he could not be, as I had been at first inclined to suppose, in a state of dotage or imbecility.
  2. Fondness or attentiveness, especially to an excessive degree.
    • 1598, William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, act 2, sc. 3,
      CLAUDIO: And she is exceeding wise.
      DON PEDRO: In every thing but in loving Benedick. . . . I would she had bestowed this dotage on me.
  3. foolish utterance; drivel
    The sapless dotages of old Paris and Salamanca. — Milton.