Dictionary.com

diddle

1
[ did-l ]
/ ˈdɪd l /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: diddle / diddler on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), did·dled, did·dling.
Informal. to cheat; swindle; hoax.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of diddle

1
First recorded in 1800–10; perhaps special use of diddle2

OTHER WORDS FROM diddle

diddler, noun

Other definitions for diddle (2 of 2)

diddle2
[ did-l ]
/ ˈdɪd l /

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.
Slang.
  1. to copulate with.
  2. to practice masturbation upon.

Origin of diddle

2
First recorded in 1800–10; of uncertain origin; perhaps from dialect diddle “to cheat, hoax” or from dialect doodle (in archaic sense) “fool”; cf. diddle1, doodle1 (in senses “to waste time; to deceive”)

OTHER WORDS FROM diddle

diddler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use diddle in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for diddle (1 of 2)

diddle1
/ (ˈdɪdəl) /

verb informal
(tr) to cheat or swindle
(intr) an obsolete word for dawdle

Derived forms of diddle

diddler, noun

Word Origin for diddle

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

British Dictionary definitions for diddle (2 of 2)

diddle2
/ (ˈdɪdəl) /

verb
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
FEEDBACK