WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2014
fid•dle /ˈfɪdəl/USA pronunciation
n., v., -dled, -dling.
Music and Dancea violin.violin
Music and Danceto play (a tune) on the fiddle: [no object]The emperor was said to have been fiddling while Rome burned.[~ + object]They fiddled a tune.
[~ + with + object] to make fussing movements with the hands:She fiddled nervously with her handkerchief.
[~ + with + object] to touch or manipulate something, as to operate or adjust it; tinker:I fiddled with the wires to the battery.
fid•dler, n. [countable]
Idioms(as) fit as a fiddle, in perfect health;
very fit:fit as a fiddle after his vacation.
play second fiddle to, [~ + object] to have or take a less important role than:I was tired of playing second fiddle to him.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
fiddle /ˈfɪdəl/ n
- informal any instrument of the viol or violin family, esp the violin
- a violin played as a folk instrument
- a small railing around the top of a table to prevent objects from falling off it in bad weather
- Brit informal an illegal or fraudulent transaction or arrangement
- Brit informal a manually delicate or tricky operation
- at the fiddle, on the fiddle ⇒ informal engaged in an illegal or fraudulent undertaking
- fit as a fiddle ⇒ informal in very good health
- play second fiddle ⇒ informal to be subordinate; play a minor part
Etymology: Old English fithele, probably from Medieval Latin vītula, from Latin vītulārī to celebrate; compare Old High German fidula fiddle; see viola1
- to play (a tune) on the fiddle
- (intransitive) often followed by with: to make restless or aimless movements with the hands
- when intr, often followed by about or around: informal to spend (time) or act in a careless or inconsequential manner; waste (time)
- (often followed by with) informal to tamper or interfere (with)
- informal to contrive to do (something) by illicit means or deception
- (transitive) informal to falsify (accounts, etc); swindle
'fiddle' also found in these entries: