from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • To plait.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Anything abstruse, intricate, paradoxical, or puzzling; a puzzle.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A sieve, especially a coarse one for sand, grain, and the like.
  • noun In founding, a sieve with half-inch mesh, used in the molding-shop for cleaning and mixing old floor-sand.
  • noun In hydraulic engineering, a form of river-weir.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In minting. See the extract.

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

  • 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.
  • noun A board having a row of pins, set zigzag, between which wire is drawn to straighten it.
  • transitive verb To separate, as grain from the chaff, with a riddle; to pass through a riddle.
  • transitive verb To perforate so as to make like a riddle; to make many holes in.
  • noun Something proposed to be solved by guessing or conjecture; a puzzling question; an ambiguous proposition; an enigma; hence, anything ambiguous or puzzling.
  • intransitive verb To speak ambiguously or enigmatically.
  • transitive verb To explain; to solve; to unriddle.

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

  • noun A sieve.
  • verb To fill with holes.
  • verb To fill or spread throughout; to pervade.
  • verb To put something through a sieve
  • noun 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?"
  • verb To speak ambiguously or enigmatically.
  • verb transitive To solve, answer, or explicate a riddle or question

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

  • verb speak in riddles
  • verb set a difficult problem or riddle
  • verb pierce with many holes
  • noun a difficult problem
  • verb spread or diffuse through
  • verb explain a riddle
  • verb separate with a riddle, as grain from chaff
  • noun a coarse sieve (as for gravel)


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English riddil, ridelle ("sieve") from Old English {{term|hriddel||sieve", alteration of earlier hridder, hrīder from Proto-Germanic *hridan (“sieve”), from Proto-Germanic *hrid- (“to shake”), from Proto-Indo-European *krey-. Akin to German Reiter ("sieve"), Old Norse hreinn ("pure, clean"), Old High German hreini ("pure, clean"), Gothic 𐌷𐍂𐌰𐌹𐌽𐍃 (hrains, "clean, pure"). More at rinse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English redel, redels, from Old English rǣdels, rǣdelse ("counsel", "opinion", "imagination", "riddle"), from Proto-Germanic *rēdislijan (“counsel, conjecture”). Akin to Old Saxon rādisli (Dutch raadsel), Old High German rādisle (German Rätsel ("riddle")), Old English rǣdan ("to read, advise, interpret").


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  • (n): A type of sifter, called a crible in the French kitchen.

    January 4, 2009

  • A verb that refers to the long process of neck-down storage and angular manipulation of bottles of aged wine used in the production of champagne and sparkling wine. See riddling.

    March 18, 2011