fiddle away

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1. A violin, especially one used to play folk or country music.
2. Nautical A guardrail used on a table during rough weather to prevent things from slipping off.
3. Informal Nonsensical, trifling matters: "There are things that are important / beyond all this fiddle" (Marianne Moore).
4. Chiefly British An instance of cheating or swindling; a fraud.
v. fid·dled, fid·dling, fid·dles
1. To play a fiddle.
2. To touch or handle something in a nervous way: fiddled with the collar of his shirt as he spoke.
3. To make unskilled efforts at repairing or improving: fiddled with the broken toaster.
4. To meddle or tamper: a reporter who fiddled with the facts.
5. Chiefly British To commit a fraud, especially to steal from one's employer.
1. To play (a tune) on a fiddle.
2. Chiefly British To alter or falsify for dishonest gain: fiddled the figures in the report.
Phrasal Verbs:
fiddle around
To act foolishly, playfully, or without a clear sense of purpose: Quit fiddling around and get to work!
fiddle away
To waste or squander: fiddled away the morning browsing the internet.

[Middle English fidle, from Old English fithele.]

fid′dler n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:


1. To move one's fingers or hands in a nervous or aimless fashion:
2. To handle something idly, ignorantly, or destructively:
Informal: monkey.
phrasal verb
fiddle away
To pass (time) without working or in avoiding work:
dawdle (away), idle (away), kill, trifle away, waste, while (away), wile (away).
References in periodicals archive ?
We can say that we all try to just fiddle away from the situation rather than thoroughly removing it,' she deplored.
Democrats indeed must not fiddle away their energies responding to inane tweets and indefensible activities while our morality, our nation, and our planet burn.
This fiscal time bomb is ticking away whilst Cameron and Osbourne fiddle away merrily.