Definition of diddle in English:


Line breaks: did¦dle
Pronunciation: /ˈdɪd(ə)l


1 [with object] Cheat or swindle (someone) so as to deprive them of something: he thought he’d been diddled out of his change
More example sentences
  • He was diddled out of his legacy, started with nothing but red ink in Adelaide, and now owns half the world.
  • We share part of the journey along her local high street and she points to the shop where she was diddled out of £15 when buying a pair of flip-flops - she was too timid to go back and challenge staff after discovering she'd been short-changed.
  • Disgust and anger were widespread in the labour movement this week as more workers were diddled out of their entitlements in a corporate sleight-of-hand.
1.1Deliberately falsify: he diddled his income tax returns
2 [no object] chiefly North American Pass time aimlessly or unproductively: I felt sorry for her, diddling around in her room while her friends were having a good time
More example sentences
  • A quick glance at the digital car clock told him that it was currently 9: 30 pm; they had spent a long time diddling around the studio without noticing the time flying by.
  • How many bad fantasy and horror movies does a person have to see to realize diddling around with this kind of stuff is a bad idea?
  • So I've been diddling about with the audio from my Arkansas trip.
3 [with object] vulgar slang , chiefly North American (Of a man) have sexual intercourse with.
[originally in Scots dialect use in the sense 'jerk from side to side', apparently corresponding to dialect didder 'tremble']


early 19th century: probably from the name of Jeremy Diddler, a character in the farce Raising the Wind (1803) by the Irish dramatist James Kenney (1780–1849). Diddler constantly borrowed and failed to repay small sums of money: the name may be based on an earlier verb diddle 'walk unsteadily'.



More example sentences
  • It has become the profession of public office seekers, title hunters, social pushers, dollar diddlers, mountebanks and cads.
  • Some are kiddie diddlers, those so unhappy, so hungry, they're willing to take that repeated fatal risk.
  • With a little more prudence Dick Turpin would have made a good diddler.

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Pronunciation: ˈdeɪktɪk
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