rid•dle1(rid′l),USA pronunciationn., v.,-dled, -dling. n.
a question or statement so framed as to exercise one's ingenuity in answering it or discovering its meaning; conundrum.
a puzzling question, problem, or matter.
a puzzling thing or person.
any enigmatic or dark saying or speech.
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.
to pierce with many holes, suggesting those of a sieve:to riddle the target.
to fill or affect with (something undesirable, weakening, etc.):a government riddled with graft.
to impair or refute completely by persistent verbal attacks:to riddle a person's reputation.
Miningto sift through a riddle, as gravel; screen.
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