American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To pierce with numerous holes; perforate: riddle a target with bullets.
- v. To spread throughout: "Election campaigns have always been riddled with demagogy and worse” ( New Republic).
- v. To put (gravel, for example) through a coarse sieve.
- n. A coarse sieve, as for gravel.
- n. A question or statement requiring thought to answer or understand; a conundrum.
- n. One that is perplexing; an enigma.
- v. To solve or explain.
- v. To propound or solve riddles.
- v. To speak in riddles.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A proposition so framed as to exercise one's ingenuity in discovering its meaning; an ambiguous, complex, or puzzling question offered for solution; an enigma; a dark saying.
- n. Anything abstruse, intricate, paradoxical, or puzzling; a puzzle.
- n. A person who manifests ambiguities or contradictions of character or conduct.
- To explain; interpret; solve; unriddle.
- To understand; make out.
- To puzzle; perplex.
- To speak in riddles, ambiguously, or enigmatically.
- n. A sieve, especially a coarse one for sand, grain, and the like.
- n. In founding, a sieve with half-inch mesh, used in the molding-shop for cleaning and mixing old floor-sand.
- n. In hydraulic engineering, a form of river-weir.
- n. In wire-working, a flat board set with iron pins sloped in opposite directions. It is used to straighten wire, which is drawn in a zigzag course between the pins.
- To sift through a riddle or sieve: as, to riddle sand.
- To sift by means of a coarse-netted dredge, as young oysters on a bed.
- To reduce in quantity as if by sifting; condense.
- To fill with holes; especially, to perforate with shot so as to make like a riddle; hence, to puncture or pierce all over as if with shot; penetrate.
- To use a riddle or sieve; pass anything through a riddle.
- To fall in drops or fine streams, as through a riddle or sieve.
- n. A curtain; a bed-curtain; in a church, one of the pair of curtains inclosing an altar on the north and south, often hung from rods driven into the wall.
- To plait.
- n. In minting. See the extract.
- n. A verbal puzzle, mystery, or other problem of an intellectual nature, such as "It's black, and white, and red all over. What is it?"
- v. To speak ambiguously or enigmatically.
- v. transitive To solve, answer, or explicate a riddle or question
- n. A sieve.
- v. To fill with holes.
- v. To fill or spread throughout; to pervade.
- v. To put something through a sieve
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. 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.
- n. A board having a row of pins, set zigzag, between which wire is drawn to straighten it.
- v. To separate, as grain from the chaff, with a riddle; to pass through a riddle.
- v. To perforate so as to make like a riddle; to make many holes in.
- n. Something proposed to be solved by guessing or conjecture; a puzzling question; an ambiguous proposition; an enigma; hence, anything ambiguous or puzzling.
- v. To explain; to solve; to unriddle.
- v. To speak ambiguously or enigmatically.
- v. speak in riddles
- v. set a difficult problem or riddle
- v. pierce with many holes
- n. a difficult problem
- v. spread or diffuse through
- v. explain a riddle
- v. separate with a riddle, as grain from chaff
- n. a coarse sieve (as for gravel)
- Middle English ridelen, to sift, from riddil, sieve, from Old English hriddel; see krei- in Indo-European roots.Middle English redels, from Old English rǣdels; see ar- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“But the riddle is usually about, what is the truth?”
“Not only do the congregants not understand that the solution to the riddle is the basic tenet of their faith, but more important, they fail to recognize that Alroy is quite literally the answer to their prayers.”
“The "riddle" is here identical with the "parable," only that the former refers to the obscurity, the latter to the likeness of the figure to the thing compared.”
“The second, more interesting riddle is not yet adequately resolved: what does Mikel actually do?”
“RoboPanda says: there must be a scene in the movie in which an ancient riddle is solved or a booby trap avoided through knowledge of show tunes.”
“Another riddle is found and Batman deduces that Gordon will die.”
“He concluded, as has Winchester, that the riddle is of less consequence these days.”
“The riddle is solvable by pure logic without assumptions.”
“I think that you guys all think about it too much. the whole point of the riddle is to find out who owns THE fish, meaning that there IS a fish and someone MUST own it.”
“The aim of riddle is finding who owns fish right?.”
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