What does riddle mean?

Definitions for riddleˈrɪd l

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

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

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

  8. Origin: [OE. ridil, AS. hridder; akin to G. reiter, L. cribrum, and to Gr. kri`nein to distinguish, separate, and G. rein clean. See Crisis, Certain.]


  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Riddle

    rid′l, n. an obscure description of something which the hearer is asked to name: a puzzling question: an enigma: anything puzzling, even a person.—v.i. to make riddles: to speak obscurely: to plait.—adj. Ridd′le-like (Shak.), like a riddle or enigma.—ns. Ridd′ler; Ridd′ling (Spens.), skill in explaining riddles.—adv. Ridd′lingly. [A.S. rǽdelserǽdan, to guess, to read—rǽd, counsel; cog. with Dut. raad, Ger. rath.]

  2. Riddle

    rid′l, n. a large sieve for separating coarser materials from finer.—v.t. to separate with a riddle, as grain from chaff: to make full of holes like a riddle, as with shot.—n.pl. Ridd′lings, siftings. [A.S. hridder; Gael. criathar.]


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of riddle in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of riddle in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Chris Casey:

    The ring ... really helped us to solve this riddle.

  2. Winston Churchill:

    I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

  3. Winston Churchill:

    I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.

  4. Sir Winston Churchill, Radio speech, 1939:

    I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.

  5. Albert Einstein:

    There was this huge world out there, independent of us human beings and standing before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partly accessible to our inspection and thought. The contemplation of that world beckoned like a liberation.

Images & Illustrations of riddle

  1. riddleriddleriddle

Translations for riddle

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for riddle »


Find a translation for the riddle definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these riddle definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"riddle." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 18 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/riddle>.

Are we missing a good definition for riddle? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for riddle:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.