Definitions for riddleˈrɪd l

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word riddle

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

rid•dleˈrɪd l(n.; v.)-dled, -dling.

  1. (n.)a question framed so as to exercise one's ingenuity in answering it or discovering its meaning; conundrum.

  2. a puzzling question, problem, or matter.

  3. a puzzling thing or person.

  4. (v.i.)to propound riddles; speak enigmatically.

Origin of riddle:

bef. 1000; ME redel(s) (n.), OE rǣdels(e) counsel, opinion, riddle =rǣd(an) to counsel, rede+-els(e) deverbal n. suffix; loss of -s- in ME through confusion with the pl. form of the n. suffix -el -le (cf. burial )

rid•dleˈrɪd l(v.; n.)-dled, -dling

  1. (v.t.)to pierce with many holes suggesting those of a sieve.

  2. to fill or affect with (something undesirable):

    a government riddled with graft.

  3. to sift through a riddle, as gravel; screen.

    Category: Mining

  4. (n.)a coarse sieve, as one for sifting sand in a foundry.

    Category: Metallurgy

Origin of riddle:

bef. 1100; (n.) ME riddil, OE hriddel, var. of hridder, hrīder, c. G Reiter; akin to L crībrum sieve; (v.) ME ridlen to sift, der. of the n.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. riddle, conundrum, enigma, brain-teaser(noun)

    a difficult problem

  2. riddle(verb)

    a coarse sieve (as for gravel)

  3. riddle(verb)

    pierce with many holes

    "The bullets riddled his body"

  4. riddle(verb)

    set a difficult problem or riddle

    "riddle me a riddle"

  5. riddle, screen(verb)

    separate with a riddle, as grain from chaff

  6. permeate, pervade, penetrate, interpenetrate, diffuse, imbue, riddle(verb)

    spread or diffuse through

    "An atmosphere of distrust has permeated this administration"; "music penetrated the entire building"; "His campaign was riddled with accusations and personal attacks"

  7. riddle(verb)

    speak in riddles

  8. riddle(verb)

    explain a riddle

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. riddle(noun)ˈrɪd l

    a game in the form of a question with a difficult or funny answer

Webster Dictionary

  1. Riddle(noun)

    a sieve with coarse meshes, usually of wire, for separating coarser materials from finer, as chaff from grain, cinders from ashes, or gravel from sand

  2. Riddle(noun)

    a board having a row of pins, set zigzag, between which wire is drawn to straighten it

  3. Riddle(verb)

    to separate, as grain from the chaff, with a riddle; to pass through a riddle; as, riddle wheat; to riddle coal or gravel

  4. Riddle(verb)

    to perforate so as to make like a riddle; to make many holes in; as, a house riddled with shot

  5. Riddle(noun)

    something proposed to be solved by guessing or conjecture; a puzzling question; an ambiguous proposition; an enigma; hence, anything ambiguous or puzzling

  6. Riddle(verb)

    to explain; to solve; to unriddle

  7. Riddle(verb)

    to speak ambiguously or enigmatically


  1. Riddle

    A riddle is a statement or question or phrase having a double or veiled meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved. Riddles are of two types: enigmas, which are problems generally expressed in metaphorical or allegorical language that require ingenuity and careful thinking for their solution, and conundra, which are questions relying for their effects on punning in either the question or the answer.

Anagrams of riddle

  1. Dreidl

Translations for riddle

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


a puzzle usually in the form of a question, which describes an object, person etc in a mysterious or misleading way

Can you guess the answer to this riddle?; The answer to the riddle `What flies for ever, and never rests?' is `The wind'.

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