- to turn about or play with lightly or idly, especially with the fingers; twirl.
- to play or trifle idly with something; fiddle.
- to turn about lightly; twirl.
- the act of twiddling; turn; twirl.
- twiddle one's thumbs, to do nothing; be idle: Business was slack, and the salespeople were twiddling their thumbs.
Origin of twiddle
Related Wordsfidget, fool, trifle, dabble, toy, handle, monkey, feel, doodle, putter, play, interfere, mess, tinker, finger, tamper, touch, puddle, potter
Examples from the Web for twiddle
We cannot dither, we cannot just twiddle our thumbs, or wait and see.After Steven Sotloff Murder, Congress Demands a Vote on Obama’s ISIS War
September 2, 2014
A man who has been active hates 270 to sit down and twiddle his thumbs.The Place of Honeymoons
Then I did remember more or less, while Hans continued to twiddle the hat.The Ivory Child
H. Rider Haggard
I twiddle your little good Andrew to assert it for us twenty times a day.Evan Harrington, Complete
Get under the pilot an' sort o' twiddle ye off the track, don't they?The Day's Work, Volume 1
Waiting the answer, he joined his hands, and began to twiddle his thumbs.The Wandering Jew, Complete
- (when intr, often foll by with) to twirl or fiddle (with), often in an idle way
- to do nothing; be unoccupied
- (intr) to turn, twirl, or rotate
- (intr) rare to be occupied with trifles
- an act or instance of twiddling
Word Origin and History for twiddle
1540s, "to trifle," of unknown origin; of the fingers, first recorded 1670s. Figurative phrase twiddle one's thumbs "have nothing to do" is recorded from 1846; to twirl one's thumbs in the same sense is recorded from 1816. Related: Twiddled; twiddling.