amounting to very little; trifling; negligible: a piddling sum of money.

Origin of piddling

First recorded in 1550–60; piddle + -ing2

Synonyms for piddling



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

to spend time in a wasteful, trifling, or ineffective way; dawdle (often followed by around): He wasted the day piddling around.
Informal. (especially of children and pets) to urinate.

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

to waste (time, money, etc.); fail to utilize (usually followed by away).

Origin of piddle

First recorded in 1535–45; origin uncertain
Related formspid·dler, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for piddling

Contemporary Examples of piddling

  • Still, I have never forgotten that in my youth, I thought the difference between life and death was piddling.

    The Daily Beast logo
    I Killed Sunny von Bulow

    Suzy Welch

    December 9, 2008

Historical Examples of piddling

British Dictionary definitions for piddling



informal petty; trifling; trivial
Derived Formspiddlingly, adverb



(intr) informal to urinate
(when tr, often foll by away) to spend (one's time) aimlessly; fritter
Derived Formspiddler, noun

Word Origin for piddle

C16: origin unknown
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 piddling

"insignificant, trifling," 1550s, past participle adjective from piddle (v.).



1540s, "to peddle, to work in a trifling way," of uncertain origin, apparently a frequentative form. Meaning "to pick at one's food" is from 1610s; that of "urinate" is from 1796. Related: Piddled; piddler; piddling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper