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-West Germanic *hrīdrā, 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). More at writhe. Doublet of rideau.

NounEdit

riddle (plural riddles)

  1. (obsolete) A curtain; bedcurtain.
  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