fiddle

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 /ˈfɪdl/



WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
fid•dle /ˈfɪdəl/USA pronunciation   n., v., -dled, -dling. 

n. [countable]
  • Music and Dancea violin.violin

  • v. 
  • 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.
  • idiom
    1. Idioms(as) fit as a fiddle, in perfect health;
      very fit:fit as a fiddle after his vacation.
    2. play second fiddle to, [+ object] to have or take a less important role than:I was tired of playing second fiddle to him.

    fid•dler, n. [countable]

    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
    fid•dle  (fidl), 
    n., v., -dled, -dling. 

    n. 
  • Music and Dancea musical instrument of the viol family.
  • Music and Danceviolin:Her aunt plays first fiddle with the state symphony orchestra.
  • [Naut.]a small ledge or barrier raised in heavy weather to keep dishes, pots, utensils, etc., from sliding off tables and stoves.
  • British Terms, Informal Terms[Brit. Informal.]swindle; fraud.
  • Dialect Terms, Idiomsfine as a fiddle, [South Midland and Southern U.S.]See fiddle (def. 6).
  • Idiomsfit as a fiddle, in perfect health;
    very fit:The doctor told him he was fit as a fiddle.Also,as fit as a fiddle. 
  • Idiomsplay second fiddle. See second fiddle. 

  • v.i. 
  • Music and Danceto play on the fiddle.
  • to make trifling or fussing movements with the hands (often fol. by with):fiddling with his cuffs.
  • to touch or manipulate something, as to operate or adjust it; tinker (often fol. by with):You may have to fiddle with the antenna to get a clear picture on the TV.
  • to waste time;
    trifle;
    dally (often fol. by around):Stop fiddling around and get to work.
  • British Terms, Informal Terms[Brit. Informal.]to cheat.

  • v.t. 
  • Music and Danceto play (a tune) on a fiddle.
  • to trifle or waste (usually used with away):to fiddle time away.
  • Printing[Bookbinding.]to bind together (sections or leaves of a book) by threading a cord through holes cut lengthwise into the back.
  • [Brit. Informal.]
    • to falsify:to fiddle the account books.
    • to cheat:to fiddle the company out of expense money.
    Etymology:bef. 1000;
    Middle English;
    Old English fithele (cognate with German Fiedel, Dutch vedel, Old High German fidula) probably Vulgar Latin *vītula (compare viol, viola1), perh. derivative of Latin vītulārī to rejoice


    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    fiddle /ˈfɪdəl/ n
    1. informal any instrument of the viol or violin family, esp the violin
    2. a violin played as a folk instrument
    3. a small railing around the top of a table to prevent objects from falling off it in bad weather
    4. Brit informal an illegal or fraudulent transaction or arrangement
    5. Brit informal a manually delicate or tricky operation
    6. at the fiddle, on the fiddleinformal engaged in an illegal or fraudulent undertaking
    7. fit as a fiddleinformal in very good health
    8. play second fiddleinformal to be subordinate; play a minor part
    vb
    1. to play (a tune) on the fiddle
    2. (intransitive) often followed by with: to make restless or aimless movements with the hands
    3. when intr, often followed by about or around: informal to spend (time) or act in a careless or inconsequential manner; waste (time)
    4. (often followed by with) informal to tamper or interfere (with)
    5. informal to contrive to do (something) by illicit means or deception
    6. (transitive) informal to falsify (accounts, etc); swindle
    Etymology: Old English fithele, probably from Medieval Latin vītula, from Latin vītulārī to celebrate; compare Old High German fidula fiddle; see viola1



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