fiddle with

phrasal verb

fiddled with; fiddling with; fiddles with
: to move or handle (something) with the hands or fingers in a nervous way
She was nervously fiddling with her pencil as she waited for the test to start.
: to change or handle (something, such as the controls of a machine) in a way that shows one is not sure what to do
He was fiddling with the controls of the television, trying to get it to work.
: to change (something) in a harmful or foolish way
It became clear that someone had fiddled with the equipment.

Examples of fiddle with in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This kind of behavior may be acceptable at some London papers, where proprietors are less hesitant to fiddle with coverage. Michael M. Grynbaum, New York Times, 8 June 2024 When a fuzzy voice communication from Book (David Ajala) came through for Michael, Moll knocked the distracted Starfleet captain unconscious and fiddled with the interface. Jp Mangalindan, Peoplemag, 30 May 2024 Amal, who preferred to go by his first name for fear of retribution, took a slow drag of his cigarette, fiddling with a pack in his other hand. Christina Goldbaum, New York Times, 19 May 2024 Those were the paralyzing squeezes beneath my sternum, all part of having the anesthetic fiddle with one of the nerves on my diaphragm. Neal Rubin, Detroit Free Press, 18 May 2024 While Diane was still active, the couple had a ball donning overalls and building and fiddling with off-road vehicles that Barnett raced on dirt tracks. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 28 Mar. 2024 Utility bills go down, as does time spent fiddling with the remote trying to get the heater to behave. K. Thor Jensen, PCMAG, 26 Mar. 2024 Nearby, her students are hustling around on a bright blue tarp, rolling out heavy cylinders of compressed gas and fiddling with boxes of electronics. Geoff Brumfiel, NPR, 25 Mar. 2024 Yes, that means a lot of hours spent fighting monsters and fiddling with Materia. Andrew Webster, The Verge, 29 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fiddle with.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near fiddle with

Cite this Entry

“Fiddle with.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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