See also: Riddle

EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /ˈɹɪdəl/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪdəl

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English redel, redels, from Old English rǣdels, rǣdelse (counsel, opinion, imagination, riddle), from Proto-West Germanic *rādislī (counsel, conjecture). Analyzable as rede (advice) +‎ -le. Akin to Old English rǣdan (to read, advise, interpret).

NounEdit

Examples (ancient form)
6th c. B.C.E., Laozi, Tao Te Ching 9:
Keep sharpening the blade, you'll soon blunt it.
Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

riddle (plural riddles)

  1. A verbal puzzle, mystery, or other problem of an intellectual nature.
    Synonyms: enigma, conundrum, brain-teaser
    Here's a riddle: It's black, and white, and red all over. What is it?
  2. An ancient verbal, poetic, or literary form, in which, rather than a rhyme scheme, there are parallel opposing expressions with a hidden meaning.
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

riddle (third-person singular simple present riddles, present participle riddling, simple past and past participle riddled)

  1. To speak ambiguously or enigmatically.
  2. (transitive) To solve, answer, or explicate a riddle or question.
    Riddle me this.
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English riddil, ridelle (sieve), from Old English hriddel (sieve), alteration of earlier hridder, hrīder, from Proto-Germanic *hrīdrą, *hrīdrǭ (sieve), from Proto-Germanic *hrid- (to shake), from Proto-Indo-European *krey-. Akin to German Reiter (sieve), Old Norse hreinn (pure, clean), Old High German hreini (pure, clean), Gothic 𐌷𐍂𐌰𐌹𐌽𐍃 (hrains, clean, pure). More at rinse.

NounEdit

riddle (plural riddles)

  1. A sieve with coarse meshes, usually of wire, for separating coarser materials from finer, as chaff from grain, cinders from ashes, or gravel from sand.
  2. A board with a row of pins, set zigzag, between which wire is drawn to straighten it.
TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

riddle (third-person singular simple present riddles, present participle riddling, simple past and past participle riddled)

  1. To put something through a riddle or sieve, to sieve, to sift.
    You have to riddle the gravel before you lay it on the road.
    • 2014 April 8, Helen Yemm, “Thorny problems: How can I revive a forsythia hedge? [print version 5 April 2014, p. G9]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Gardening)[1], London:
      In its finest form – two years old or more – leaf mould can be riddled (sieved) and used, mixed 50/50 with sand, to make fine potting compost for seeds and cuttings.
  2. To fill with holes like a riddle.
    The shots from his gun began to riddle the targets.
  3. To fill or spread throughout; to pervade.
    Your argument is riddled with errors.
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 3Edit

From Middle English riddel, ridel, redel, rudel, from Old French ridel ("a plaited stuff; curtain"; > Medieval Latin ridellus), from rider (to wrinkle), from Old High German rīdan (to turn; wrap; twist; wrinkle), from Proto-Germanic *wrīþaną (to turn; wind). More at writhe. Doublet of rideau.

NounEdit

riddle (plural riddles)

  1. (obsolete) A curtain; bed-curtain
  2. (religious) One of the pair of curtains enclosing an altar on the north and south

Etymology 4Edit

From Middle English ridlen, from the noun (see above).

VerbEdit

riddle (third-person singular simple present riddles, present participle riddling, simple past and past participle riddled)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To plait

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit