[ twid-l ]
/ ˈtwɪd l /
verb (used with object), twid·dled, twid·dling.
to turn about or play with lightly or idly, especially with the fingers; twirl.
verb (used without object), twid·dled, twid·dling.
to play or trifle idly with something; fiddle.
to turn about lightly; twirl.
the act of twiddling; turn; twirl.
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twiddle one's thumbs, to do nothing; be idle: Business was slack, and the salespeople were twiddling their thumbs.
Related formstwid·dler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for twiddle one's thumbs
/ (ˈtwɪdəl) /
(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
Derived Formstwiddler, noun
Word Origin for twiddle
C16: probably a blend of twirl + fiddle
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
Idioms and Phrases with twiddle one's thumbs
twiddle one's thumbs
Be bored or idle, as in There I sat for three hours, twiddling my thumbs, while he made call after call. This expression alludes to the habit of idly turning one's thumbs about one another during a period of inactivity. [Mid-1800s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.