verb (used without object), did·dled, did·dling.

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.

verb (used with object), did·dled, did·dling.

Informal. to move back and forth with short rapid motions; jiggle: Diddle the switch and see if the light comes on.
  1. to copulate with.
  2. to practice masturbation upon.

Origin of diddle

1800–10; expressive coinage, perhaps orig. in the Siamese twins diddle-diddle, diddle-daddle; cf. dodder1, doodle1
Related formsdid·dler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for diddle with



verb informal

(tr) to cheat or swindle
(intr) an obsolete word for dawdle
Derived Formsdiddler, noun

Word Origin for diddle

C19: back formation from Jeremy Diddler, a scrounger in J. Kenney's farce Raising the Wind (1803)




dialect to jerk (an object) up and down or back and forth; shake rapidly

Word Origin for diddle

C17: probably variant of doderen to tremble, totter; see dodder 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper