Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A violin, especially one used to play folk or country music.
  • noun Nautical A guardrail used on a table during rough weather to prevent things from slipping off.
  • noun Informal Nonsensical, trifling matters.
  • noun Chiefly British An instance of cheating or swindling; a fraud.
  • intransitive verb To play a fiddle.
  • intransitive verb To touch or handle something in a nervous way.
  • intransitive verb To make unskilled efforts at repairing or improving.
  • intransitive verb To meddle or tamper.
  • intransitive verb Chiefly British To commit a fraud, especially to steal from one's employer.
  • intransitive verb To play (a tune) on a fiddle.
  • intransitive verb Chiefly British To alter or falsify for dishonest gain.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A musical stringed instrument of the viol class; a violin. See viol, violin, crowd.
  • noun Nautical, a contrivance to prevent things from rolling off the table in bad weather. It is made of small cords passed through wooden bridges and hauled very taut. Same as rack.
  • noun In wool-carding, an implement used in Yorkshire, England, for smoothing the points of card-clothing and dislodging dirt from among the teeth.
  • noun In an orchestra, to take the part of the first (or second) violinplayer.
  • noun Hence— To take a leading (or subordinate) part in any project or undertaking.
  • noun In ceramics, a rack in which pieces of ware that have been dipped in liquid glaze are placed to drain.
  • noun A piece of wood by which the guy-ropes of a tennis-net are stretched to keep them taut.
  • To play upon the fiddle or violin or some similar instrument.
  • Hence To scrape, as one stretched string upon another.
  • To play (upon), in a figurative sense.
  • To move the hands or other objects over one another or about in an idle or ineffective way.
  • To be busy with trifles; trifle; do something requiring considerable pains and patience without any adequate result.
  • To play on, in a figurative sense.
  • To play (a tune) on a fiddle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Mus.) A stringed instrument of music played with a bow; a violin; a kit.
  • noun (Bot.) A kind of dock (Rumex pulcher) with fiddle-shaped leaves; -- called also fiddle dock.
  • noun (Naut.) A rack or frame of bars connected by strings, to keep table furniture in place on the cabin table in bad weather.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a Japanese carabid beetle (Damaster blaptoides); -- so called from the form of the body.
  • noun (Naut.) a long tackle block having two sheaves of different diameters in the same plane, instead of side by side as in a common double block.
  • noun fiddlestick.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the angel fish.
  • noun See fiddle head in the vocabulary.
  • noun a form of the handles of spoons, forks, etc., somewhat like a violin.
  • noun [Colloq.] to take a leading or a subordinate part.
  • intransitive verb To play on a fiddle.
  • intransitive verb 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.
  • transitive verb To play (a tune) on a fiddle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun music 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.
  • noun An adjustment intended to cover up a basic flaw.
  • noun fraud
  • noun nautical 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)
  • verb To play aimlessly.
  • verb To adjust in order to cover a basic flaw or fraud etc.
  • verb music To play traditional tunes on a violin in a non-classical style.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb commit fraud and steal from one's employer

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English fidle, from Old English fithele.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English fithele, from Old English fiðele. Cognate with Old High German fidula (German Fiedel), Old Norse fiðla (Icelandic fiðla, Danish fiddel, Norwegian fela), Middle Dutch vedele (Dutch veel, vedel).

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