fid·​dly ˈfi-dᵊl-ē How to pronounce fiddly (audio)
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 Three different seats are on offer: Our car had the midrange Sport Plus seats, which had plenty of lateral support, but the controls on the side of the console are somewhat fiddly. Joe Lorio, Car and Driver, 4 July 2023 That and the fiddly nature of the job. Ian McEwan, The New Yorker, 1 Aug. 2022 But linking the computers running such software to radios is often surprisingly fiddly in the age of painless USB and Bluetooth. IEEE Spectrum, 19 Feb. 2016 Put another way, some of us might get to live our lives with one less fiddly thing to worry about — and that’s not nothing. Chris Velazco, Washington Post, 10 June 2022 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 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1926, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fiddly was in 1926

Dictionary Entries Near fiddly

Cite this Entry

“Fiddly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

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