WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
rid•dle1 /ˈrɪdəl/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. a puzzling question put so as to make it difficult to answer it or discover its meaning:A childhood riddle is "What kind of dog has no tail?'' —The answer: a hot dog.
  2. a puzzling problem, matter, or person:His behavior is a riddle.

rid•dle2 /ˈrɪdəl/USA pronunciation   v. [+ object]
  1. to pierce with many holes:Bullets riddled the target.
  2. to fill or affect with (something undesirable):The department is riddled with graft.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
rid•dle1  (ridl),USA pronunciation n., v.,  -dled, -dling. 
  1. a question or statement so framed as to exercise one's ingenuity in answering it or discovering its meaning;
  2. a puzzling question, problem, or matter.
  3. a puzzling thing or person.
  4. any enigmatic or dark saying or speech.

  1. to propound riddles;
    speak enigmatically.
  • bef. 1000; Middle English redel, redels (noun, nominal), Old English rǣdels(e) counsel, opinion, imagination, riddle (rǣd(an) to counsel, rede + -els(e) deverbal noun, nominal suffix) with loss of -s- in Middle English through confusion with the plural form of the noun, nominal suffix -el -le (compare burial); cognate with German Rätsel, Dutch raadsel
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See  puzzle. 

rid•dle2  (ridl),USA pronunciation v.,  -dled, -dling, n. 
  1. to pierce with many holes, suggesting those of a sieve:to riddle the target.
  2. to fill or affect with (something undesirable, weakening, etc.):a government riddled with graft.
  3. to impair or refute completely by persistent verbal attacks:to riddle a person's reputation.
  4. Miningto sift through a riddle, as gravel;

  1. Metallurgya coarse sieve, as one for sifting sand in a foundry.
  • bef. 1100; (noun, nominal) Middle English riddil, Old English hriddel, variant of hridder, hrīder; cognate with German Reiter; akin to Latin crībrum sieve; (verb, verbal) Middle English ridlen to sift, derivative of the noun, nominal

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

riddle /ˈrɪdəl/ n
  1. a question, puzzle, or verse so phrased that ingenuity is required for elucidation of the answer or meaning; conundrum
  2. a person or thing that puzzles, perplexes, or confuses; enigma
  1. to solve, explain, or interpret (a riddle or riddles)
  2. (intransitive) to speak in riddles
Etymology: Old English rǣdelle, rǣdelse, from rǣd counsel; related to Old Saxon rādislo, German Rätsel

ˈriddler n
riddle /ˈrɪdəl/ vb (transitive)
  1. (usually followed by with) to pierce or perforate with numerous holes: riddled with bullets
  2. to put through a sieve; sift
  3. to fill or pervade: the report was riddled with errors
  1. a sieve, esp a coarse one used for sand, grain, etc
Etymology: Old English hriddel a sieve, variant of hridder; related to Latin crībrum sieve

ˈriddler n

'riddle' also found in these entries:

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