Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

riddle

play
noun rid·dle \ˈri-dəl\

Definition of riddle

  1. 1 :  a mystifying, misleading, or puzzling question posed as a problem to be solved or guessed :  conundrum, enigma

  2. 2 :  something or someone difficult to understand



Origin of riddle

Middle English redels, ridel, from Old English rǣdelse opinion, conjecture, riddle; akin to Old English rǣdan to interpret — more at read


First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of riddle

mystery, problem, enigma, riddle, puzzle mean something which baffles or perplexes. mystery applies to what cannot be fully understood by reason or less strictly to whatever resists or defies explanation <the mystery of the stone monoliths>. problem applies to a question or difficulty calling for a solution or causing concern <problems created by high technology>. enigma applies to utterance or behavior that is very difficult to interpret <his suicide remains an enigma>. riddle suggests an enigma or problem involving paradox or apparent contradiction <the riddle of the reclusive pop star>. puzzle applies to an enigma or problem that challenges ingenuity for its solution <the thief's motives were a puzzle for the police>.

Rhymes with riddle


2

riddle

verb rid·dle

Definition of riddle

rid·dledrid·dling play \ˈrid-liŋ, ˈri-dəl-iŋ\

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to speak in or propound riddles

  3. transitive verb
  4. 1 :  to find the solution of :  explain

  5. 2 :  to set a riddle for :  puzzle

rid·dler play \ˈrid-lər, ˈri-dəl-ər\ noun


1571

First Known Use of riddle

1571


3

riddle

noun rid·dle

Definition of riddle

  1. :  a coarse sieve



Origin of riddle

Middle English riddil, from Old English hriddel; akin to Latin cribrum sieve, cernere to sift — more at certain


First Known Use: before 12th century


4

riddle

verb rid·dle

Definition of riddle

rid·dledrid·dling play \ˈrid-liŋ, ˈri-dəl-iŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to separate (as grain from chaff) with a riddle :  screen

  3. 2 :  to pierce with many holes <riddled the car with bullets>

  4. 3 :  to spread through :  permeate <a book riddled with errors>



13th Century

First Known Use of riddle

13th century

Other Agriculture/Gardening Terms



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up riddle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet kittly-benders pince-nez spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ