What does fiddle mean?

Definitions for fiddle
ˈfɪd lfid·dle

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word fiddle.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. violin, fiddleverb

    bowed stringed instrument that is the highest member of the violin family; this instrument has four strings and a hollow body and an unfretted fingerboard and is played with a bow

  2. fiddle, shirk, shrink from, goldbrickverb

    avoid (one's assigned duties)

    "The derelict soldier shirked his duties"

  3. fiddleverb

    commit fraud and steal from one's employer

    "We found out that she had been fiddling for years"

  4. fiddleverb

    play the violin or fiddle

  5. fiddleverb

    play on a violin

    "Zuckerman fiddled that song very nicely"

  6. toy, fiddle, diddle, playverb

    manipulate manually or in one's mind or imagination

    "She played nervously with her wedding ring"; "Don't fiddle with the screws"; "He played with the idea of running for the Senate"

  7. tamper, fiddle, monkeyverb

    play around with or alter or falsify, usually secretively or dishonestly

    "Someone tampered with the documents on my desk"; "The reporter fiddle with the facts"

  8. tinker, fiddleverb

    try to fix or mend

    "Can you tinker with the T.V. set--it's not working right"; "She always fiddles with her van on the weekend"


  1. fiddlenoun

    Any of various bowed string instruments, often used to refer to a violin when played in any of various traditional styles, as opposed to classical violin.

    When I play it like this, it's a fiddle; when I play it like that, it's a violin.

  2. fiddlenoun

    An adjustment intended to cover up a basic flaw.

    That parameter setting is just a fiddle to make the lighting look right.

  3. fiddlenoun


  4. fiddlenoun

    On board a ship or boat, a rail or batten around the edge of a table or stove to prevent objects falling off at sea. (Also fiddle rail)

  5. fiddleverb

    To play aimlessly.

    You're fiddling your life away.

  6. fiddleverb

    To adjust in order to cover a basic flaw or fraud etc.

  7. fiddleverb

    To play traditional tunes on a violin in a non-classical style.

  8. Etymology: From fithele, from fiðele.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. FIDDLEnoun

    Etymology: fidele, Saxon; vedel, Dutch; fidel, German; fidicula, Latin; fiúll, Erse.

    In trials of musical skill the judges did not crown the fiddle, but the performer. Edward Stillingfleet.

    The adventure of the bear and fiddle
    Is sung; but breaks off in the middle. Hudibras.

    She tried the fiddle all over, by drawing the bow over every part of the strings; but could not, for her heart, find whereabout the tune lay. Joseph Addison, Guardian, №. 98.

  2. To Fiddleverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Themistocles being desired at a feast to touch a lute, he said he could not fiddle, but he could make a small town a great city. Francis Bacon, Essays.

    Others import yet nobler arts from France,
    Teach kings to fiddle, and make senates dance. Alexander Pope.

    A cunning fellow observed, that old Lewis had stole away part of the map, and saw him fiddling and turning the map, trying to join the two pieces together. John Arbuthnot, H. of J. Bull.

    Good cooks cannot abide what they justly call fiddling work, where abundance of time is spent, and little done. Jonathan Swift.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Fiddlenoun

    a stringed instrument of music played with a bow; a violin; a kit

  2. Fiddlenoun

    a kind of dock (Rumex pulcher) with fiddle-shaped leaves; -- called also fiddle dock

  3. Fiddlenoun

    a rack or frame of bars connected by strings, to keep table furniture in place on the cabin table in bad weather

  4. Fiddleverb

    to play on a fiddle

  5. Fiddleverb

    to keep the hands and fingers actively moving as a fiddler does; to move the hands and fingers restlessy or in busy idleness; to trifle

  6. Fiddleverb

    to play (a tune) on a fiddle

  7. Etymology: [OE. fidele, fithele, AS. fiele; akin to D. vedel, OHG. fidula, G. fiedel, Icel. fila, and perh. to E. viol. Cf. Viol.]


  1. fiddle

    A fiddle is any bowed string musical instrument, most often the violin. It is also a colloquial term for the instrument used by players in all genres, including classical music. Fiddle playing, or fiddling, refers to various styles of music. Common distinctions between violins and fiddles reflect the differences in the instruments used to play folk and classical music. However, it is not uncommon for classically trained violinists to play folk music, and today many fiddle players have classical training. Many traditional styles are aural traditions, so are taught 'by ear' rather than with written music.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Fiddle

    fid′l, n. a stringed instrument of music, called also a Violin.—v.t. or v.i. to play on a fiddle: to be busy over trifles, to trifle:—pr.p. fidd′ling; pa.p. fidd′led.ns. Fidd′le-block, a long block having two sheaves of different diameters in the same plane; Fidd′le-bow, a bow strung with horse-hair, with which the strings of the fiddle are set vibrating.—interjs. Fidd′le-de-dee, Fidd′lestick (often pl.), nonsense!—v.i. Fidd′le-fadd′le, to trifle, to dally.—n. trifling talk.—adj. fussy, trifling.—interj. nonsense!—n. Fidd′le-fadd′ler.—adj. Fidd′le-fadd′ling.—ns. Fidd′le-head, an ornament at a ship's bow, over the cut-water, consisting of a scroll turning aft or inward; Fidd′ler, one who fiddles: a small crab of genus Gelasimus; Fidd′le-string, a string for a fiddle; Fidd′le-wood, a tropical American tree yielding valuable hard wood.—adj. Fidd′ling, trifling, busy about trifles.—Fiddler's green, a sailor's name for a place of frolic on shore.—Play first, or second, fiddle, to take the part of the first, or second, violin-player in an orchestra: to take a leading, or a subordinate, part in anything; Scotch fiddle, the itch. [A.S. fiðele; Ger. fiedel. See Violin.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. fiddle

    A contrivance to prevent things from rolling off the table in bad weather. It takes its name from its resemblance to a fiddle, being made of small cords passed through wooden bridges, and hauled very taut.

How to pronounce fiddle?

How to say fiddle in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of fiddle in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of fiddle in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of fiddle in a Sentence

  1. Ballyboy Comhaltas:

    We are truly devastated by the tragic passing of our amazing friend and musician Ashling Murphy. Words cannot describe how heartbroken we are to lose such a special young lady, far too early in her life, we are privileged to have had Ashling as a fiddle and tin whistle tutor within our branch. She had a warm and caring approach with her pupils and she inspired them to be the best they could be.

  2. Roddy Piper:

    He's the driving force in our sport. I was the bad guy. I felt second fiddle, but as all things have come around, he deserves everything, all the accolades he can get.

  3. Md Khalequzzaman:

    The Sundarbans is too important an ecosystem to fiddle or experiment with.

  4. Billy Rowles:

    He played us like a fiddle, getting us to go over there and thinking were going to get the rest of the story.

  5. Author Unknown:

    To feel "fit as a fiddle" you must tone down your middle.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for fiddle

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • كمانArabic
  • измама, цигулкаBulgarian
  • šumařit, marnitCzech
  • ffidilWelsh
  • violinDanish
  • Fidel, Violine, Geige, Fiedel, Schiffsgeländer, fummeln, krummes DingGerman
  • timo, chanchullo, arreglo, ajuste, petardo, tejemaneje, engaño, violín, engañifa, amañar, estafaSpanish
  • viulu, soittaa, vilunki, viilata, temppu, haaskata, viritys, reunalista, näpelöidä, vinguttaa, koheltaaFinnish
  • tour de passe-passe, truc, réglage, tripoter, ajustement, adaptation, crincrin, traficoter, bidouiller, violon, expédient, tripotage, cote mal tailléeFrench
  • fidilIrish
  • fìdheallScottish Gaelic
  • biolManx
  • כינורHebrew
  • hegedű, hegedülHungarian
  • ջութակArmenian
  • violinoIdo
  • fiðlaIcelandic
  • stratagemma, truffa, viola, parapetto, marchingegno, trucco, frode, violinoItalian
  • フィドル, いじり回すJapanese
  • fyllCornish
  • ຊໍLao
  • vijoleLatvian
  • raukoti, rāwekewekeMāori
  • гуслаMacedonian
  • vedel, fiedelen, vioolDutch
  • feleNorwegian
  • oszustwo, skrzypcePolish
  • falcatrua, fraude, ajeitar, vadiar, logro, violino, rabeca, ajustePortuguese
  • скрипка, надувательство, возиться, теребить, химичить, [[тратить]] [[время]] [[попусту]], мошенничество, мять, трюкRussian
  • fiolSwedish
  • ซอThai
  • 小提琴Chinese

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    diverge from the expected
    • A. abet
    • B. aberrate
    • C. monish
    • D. huff

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