1

fiddle

play
noun fid·dle \ˈfi-dəl\

Definition of fiddle

  1. 1 :  violin

  2. 2 :  a device (as a slat, rack, or light railing) to keep objects from sliding off a table aboard ship

  3. 3 :  fiddlesticks —used as an interjection

  4. 4 [2fiddle] chiefly British :  swindle

Examples of fiddle in a sentence

  1. an expert with the fiddle

  2. arrested for a tax fiddle

Origin and Etymology of fiddle

Middle English fidel, from Old English *fithele, probably from Medieval Latin vitula


First Known Use: 13th century


2

fiddle

verb fid·dle

Definition of fiddle

fiddled

fiddling

\ˈfid-liŋ, ˈfi-dəl-iŋ\
  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to play on a fiddle

  3. 2 a :  to move the hands or fingers restlessly b :  to spend time in aimless or fruitless activity :  putter, tinker <fiddled around with the engine for hours> c :  meddle, tamper d :  to make minor manual movements especially to adjust something <fiddled with the radio knobs>

  4. transitive verb
  5. 1 :  to play (as a tune) on a fiddle

  6. 2 :  cheat, swindle

  7. 3 :  to alter or manipulate deceptively for fraudulent gain <accountants fiddling the books — Stanley Cohen>

fiddler

play \ˈfid-lər, ˈfi-dəl-ər\ noun

Examples of fiddle in a sentence

  1. Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

  2. <the executive fiddled with a pen as she impatiently waited for the meeting to begin>

14th Century

First Known Use of fiddle

14th century



FIDDLE Defined for English Language Learners

1

fiddle

play
noun fid·dle \ˈfi-dəl\

Definition of fiddle for English Language Learners

  • : a dishonest way of getting money


2

fiddle

verb fid·dle

Definition of fiddle for English Language Learners

  • : to play a violin

  • : to secretly change (something, such as information) in a harmful or dishonest way


FIDDLE Defined for Kids

1

fiddle

play
noun fid·dle \ˈfi-dəl\

Definition of fiddle for Students

  1. :  violin


2

fiddle

play
verb fid·dle

Definition of fiddle for Students

fiddled

fiddling

  1. 1 :  to play on a fiddle

  2. 2 :  to move the hands or fingers restlessly <She kept fiddling with her ring.>

  3. 3 :  to spend time in aimless activity <They fiddled around and accomplished nothing.>

  4. 4 :  to change or handle in a useless way <He fiddled with the controls.>

  5. 5 :  to handle in a harmful or foolish way :  tamper <Someone has been fiddling with the lock.>

fiddler

\ˈfid-lər\ noun


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

very important or noticeable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • alphabet-magnets
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ