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rid·dle 1

tr.v. rid·dled, rid·dling, rid·dles
1. To pierce with numerous holes; perforate: riddle a target with bullets.
2. To spread throughout: "Election campaigns have always been riddled with demagogy and worse" (New Republic).
3. To put (gravel, for example) through a coarse sieve.
A coarse sieve, as for gravel.

[Middle English ridelen, to sift, from riddil, sieve, from Old English hriddel; see krei- in Indo-European roots.]

rid′dler n.

rid·dle 2

1. A question or statement requiring thought to answer or understand; a conundrum.
2. One that is perplexing; an enigma.
v. rid·dled, rid·dling, rid·dles
To solve or explain.
1. To propound or solve riddles.
2. To speak in riddles.

[Middle English redels, from Old English rǣdels; see ar- in Indo-European roots.]

rid′dler n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. pierced or perforated by numerous examples of something
2. to be full of or pervaded by something undesirable
3. to be damaged or impaired by something
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.riddled - (often followed by `with') damaged throughout by numerous perforations or holes; "a sweater riddled with moth holes"; "cliffs riddled with caves"; "the bullet-riddled target"
damaged - harmed or injured or spoiled; "I won't buy damaged goods"; "the storm left a wake of badly damaged buildings"
2.riddled - spread throughout; "cities riddled with corruption"
full - containing as much or as many as is possible or normal; "a full glass"; "a sky full of stars"; "a full life"; "the auditorium was full to overflowing"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. filled, marred, spoilt, corrupted, impaired, pervaded, infested, permeated The report was riddled with errors.
2. pervade, fill, take over, plague, saturate, overrun, beset, imbue, spread through She was found to be riddled with cancer.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


[ˈrɪdəld] adj
to be riddled with bullets → être criblé(e) de balles
to be riddled with bullet holes → être criblé(e) d'impacts de balles
to be riddled with holes [jacket, jumper, wall, bucket] → être plein(e) de trous
to be riddled with sth [+ errors, contradictions, mistakes] → être plein(e) de qch; [+ fraud, dishonesty] → être gangrené(e) par qch
The government is riddled with corruption → Le gouvernement est gangrené par la corruption.; [+ guilt] → être dévoré(e) par qch; [+ fear] → être paralysé(e) par qch; [+ cancer, Aids, arthritis] → être rongé(e) par qch
to be riddled with holes [+ argument, story, theory] → être plein(e) de trous; [+ defence, system] → être plein(e) de lacunes
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
knee to knee inching riddled road down the pothole-
Earlier on Nov 15, bullet riddled bodies of 15 men were found in the Gerok area of tehsil Buleda in Kech district near Pak-Iran border.
Riddled Buffet/ Cabinets- This "furniture sculpture" consists of five modules, each different from the others.