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Metathesis of earlier dialectal cruddle, crudle, equivalent to curd +‎ -le (frequentative suffix).



curdle (third-person singular simple present curdles, present participle curdling, simple past and past participle curdled)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To form curds so that it no longer flows smoothly; to cause to form such curds. (usually said of milk)
    Too much lemon will curdle the milk in your tea.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To clot or coagulate; to cause to congeal, such as through cold. (metaphorically of blood)
    • 1814, Walter Scott, Waverley
      "Vich Ian Vohr," it said, in a voice that made my very blood curdle, "beware of to-morrow!"
  3. (transitive) To cause a liquid to spoil and form clumps so that it no longer flows smoothly
    • 1836, Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers
      It is enough,' said the agitated Mr. Slurk, pacing to and fro, 'to curdle the ink in one's pen, and induce one to abandon their cause for ever.'

Derived terms[edit]