(1)   Bowed stringed instrument that is the highest member of the violin family; this instrument has four strings and a hollow body and an unfretted fingerboard and is played with a bow


(2)   Try to fix or mend
"Can you tinker with the T.V. set--it's not working right"
"She always fiddles with her van on the weekend"
(3)   Play around with or alter or falsify, usually secretively or dishonestly
"Someone tampered with the documents on my desk"
"The reporter fiddle with the facts"
(4)   Manipulate manually or in one's mind or imagination
"She played nervously with her wedding ring"
"Don't fiddle with the screws"
"He played with the idea of running for the Senate"
(5)   Play on a violin
"Zuckerman fiddled that song very nicely"
(6)   Play the violin or fiddle
(7)   Commit fraud and steal from one's employer
"We found out that she had been fiddling for years"
(8)   Avoid (one's assigned duties)
"The derelict soldier shirked his duties"


From , from .

Cognate with Old High German fidula (German Fiedel), Old Norse fiðla (Icelandic fiðla, Danish fiddel, Norwegian fela), Middle Dutch vedele (Dutch veel, vedel).

The ultimate source of the word is unknown. Some argue that the similarity in Germanic variations can be explained by adoption and subsequent corruption of a contemporary Latin word, vitula or vidula. This is known to have occurred with the Romance languages eg. viol or viola in French, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish. Others argue that the Germanic words have a uniquely Teutonic origin, but no earlier forms have been found.


  1. The violin when played in any of various traditional styles, as opposed to classical violin.
    When I play it like this, it's a fiddle; when I play it like that, it's a violin.
  2. An adjustment intended to cover up a basic flaw.
    That parameter setting is just a fiddle to make the lighting look right.
  3. fraud
  4. On board a ship or boat, a rail or batten around the edge of a table or stove to prevent objects falling off at sea. (Also fiddle rail)


  1. To play aimlessly.
    You're fiddling your life away.
  2. To adjust in order to cover a basic flaw or fraud etc.
    I needed to fiddle the lighting parameters to get the image to look right.
    Fred was sacked when the auditors caught him fiddling the books.
  3. To play traditional tunes on a violin using the aforementioned styles.