fid·​dly | \ ˈfi-dᵊl-ē How to pronounce fiddly (audio) \

Definition of fiddly

chiefly British
: requiring close attention to detail : fussy especially : requiring an annoying amount of close attention the tiny control buttons on the back are fiddly — M. J. McNamara

Examples of fiddly in a Sentence

connecting up all the wires and the other fiddly bits
Recent Examples on the Web This dependable propane model heats up quickly, has reversible cast-iron grill grates (flip to the smaller side for small fiddly food like vegetables and shrimp), and is easy to assemble. Lauren Joseph, Bon Appétit, 22 June 2021 Democrats nationally started shifting away from caucuses to primaries before 2020, citing the difficulty of attending an in-person meeting and the fiddly math involved to determine who wins the most delegates. Michelle L. Price, Star Tribune, 11 June 2021 The only real complaints here are the fiddly controls for grabbing other players and the slow, between-round waits that hamper the frenetic nature of the mini-games themselves. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, 22 Dec. 2020 Getting rid of those removable Joy-Cons—and the fiddly snap-on connection tying them to the main system housing—just makes the Switch Lite feel more solid in the hands. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 19 Sep. 2019 Apple has rightly resisted the temptation of building in fiddly touch controls. Bloomberg News, The Denver Post, 20 Oct. 2019 Two of the steps require the clumsy manipulation of those fiddly wing nuts and hinges. Thomas Ricker, The Verge, 2 July 2019 Just like the piano keys, these small accessories are composed of lots of fiddly bits that are easily squashed or separated. Andrew Webster, The Verge, 3 May 2018 Analysts gripe that Renault’s alliance is too fiddly to value. The Economist, 22 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fiddly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fiddly

1926, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

28 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fiddly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of fiddly

chiefly British, informal : awkward or difficult to handle because of many small parts or details


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