curdle

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

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.'

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