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

  • transitive v. To turn over or around idly or lightly; fiddle with: "Couples are twiddling swizzle sticks while waiting for their tables” ( Bryan Miller).
  • intransitive v. To trifle with something.
  • intransitive v. To be busy about trifles.
  • intransitive v. To twirl or rotate without purpose.
  • n. The act or an instance of twiddling.
  • idiom twiddle (one's) thumbs To do little or nothing; be idle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To wiggle, fidget or play with; to move around.
  • v. To flip or switch two adjacent bits.
  • v. To be in an equivalence relation with.
  • n. A slight twist with the fingers.
  • n. A pimple.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To touch lightly, or play with; to tweedle; to twirl
  • intransitive v. To play with anything; hence, to be busy about trifles.
  • n. A slight twist with the fingers.
  • n. A pimple.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To twirl idly; hence, to fiddle or play with.
  • To move or propel by repeated light touches.
  • To twirl; revolve.
  • To play or trifle with something, as by touching or handling; toy.
  • To be busy about trifles; quiddle.
  • n. A slight twirl with the fingers.
  • n. A pimple.

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

  • v. turn in a twisting or spinning motion
  • n. a series of small (usually idle) twists or turns
  • v. manipulate, as in a nervous or unconscious manner


Possibly blend of twist and fiddle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • A pimple. - old term from Suffolk recorded by Grose in his 1787 Provincial Glossary.

    May 3, 2011