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

  • adj. Trivial; petty.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Present participle of fiddle.
  • n. action of the verb to fiddle
  • adj. Of petty or trivial importance; footling

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Tri fling; trivial; fussily busy with nothing.
  • n. The act or practice of playing on the fiddle.
  • n. Trifling; useless or unimportant doings; fidgeting with the fingers or hands.

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

  • adj. (informal) small and of little importance


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Dr Patrick, who researched the subject for a PhD, said: The academics call this ‘gaming’ but front line police officers would call it fiddling the figures, massaging the books or, the current favourite term, ‘good housekeeping’.

    They Just Don’t Get It. « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • A great way of digital fiddling is tuning my blog.

    How to Stop Digital Fiddling and Start Writing | Write to Done

  • The long action gives me a bit more flexibility in fiddling with OAL and my never-ending quest for smaller groups.

    Some Responses to Comments

  • This has all the hallmarks of the corrosively inept statist governing style of the Brown Blair period, their botched administrative fiddling is directly responsible for worsening the chaos and destruction in this area as it has been in so many others.

    Bitter Funny and True

  • If the helicopter can fly itself, what was Robin fiddling around with the joystick for?

    EXTRALIFE – By Scott Johnson - The Exploding Shark

  • They can spend hours online, e-mailing their boyfriends, while I delight in fiddling with my depthfinder.

    Words of Wisdom

  • They will pay me, and I'd like to earn some money as the other boys do, and fiddling is the only way I know how to do it –

    Little Men: Life at Plumfield With Jo's Boys

  • Finally, Lasher characterizes me - whom he has never met -- as believing that the most important principle of all is that one may never criticize any rabbi, even if it means denying reality, blaming the victim, and covering up for the guilty - in short, fiddling while Rome burns.

    Israelated - English Israel blogs

  • In other words, virtually everyone save the nervous Senate Democrats is opposed to the idea of fiddling with the individual mandate.

    Obamacare support melting away

  • Bush and his flunkies -- including vast legions of well-off, vapid mainstream media types and pundits -- have spent two presidential terms fiddling while the American middle class burned.

    Peter Smith: Breaking News: This Economy Stinks


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