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

  • intransitive verb To turn over or around idly or lightly; fiddle with.
  • intransitive verb To trifle with something.
  • intransitive verb To be busy about trifles.
  • intransitive verb To twirl or rotate without purpose.
  • noun The act or an instance of twiddling.
  • idiom (twiddle (one's) thumbs) To do little or nothing; be idle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun A slight twirl with the fingers.
  • noun A pimple.

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

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

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

  • verb transitive To wiggle, fidget or play with; to move around.
  • verb transitive, computing To flip or switch two adjacent bits.
  • verb transitive, mathematics To be in an equivalence relation with.
  • noun A slight twist with the fingers.
  • noun UK, dialect A pimple.

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

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


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

[Possibly blend of twist and fiddle.]


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

    May 3, 2011