- Informal. to toy; fool (usually followed by with): The kids have been diddling with the controls on the television set again.
- to waste time; dawdle (often followed by around): You would be finished by now if you hadn't spent the morning diddling around.
- Informal. to move back and forth with short rapid motions.
- Informal. to move back and forth with short rapid motions; jiggle: Diddle the switch and see if the light comes on.
- to copulate with.
- to practice masturbation upon.
Origin of diddle2
- (tr) to cheat or swindle
- (intr) an obsolete word for dawdle
- dialect to jerk (an object) up and down or back and forth; shake rapidly
Word Origin and History for diddle with
"to cheat, swindle," 1806, from dialectal duddle, diddle "to totter" (1630s). Meaning "waste time" is recorded from 1825. Meaning "to have sex with" is from 1879; that of "to masturbate" (especially of women) is from 1950s. More or less unrelated meanings that have gathered around a suggestive sound. Related: Diddled; diddling.