riddle

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English[edit]

Wikipedia Wikipedia

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English redel, redels, from Old English rǣdels, rǣdelse (counsel", "opinion", "imagination", "riddle), from Proto-Germanic *rēdisliją (counsel, conjecture). Akin to Old Saxon rādisli, rādislo, rēdilsa (Low German Radels, Dutch raadsel), Old High German rātisla (German Rätsel (riddle)), Old English rǣdan (to read, advise, interpret).

Noun[edit]

riddle (plural riddles)

  1. A verbal puzzle, mystery, or other problem of an intellectual nature.
    "Here's a riddle: It's black, and white, and red all over. What is it?"
    • John Milton (1608-1674)
      To wring from me, and tell to them, my secret, / That solved the riddle which I had proposed.
    • 1907, Robert Chambers, chapter 8, The Younger Set:
      “I never understood it,” she observed, lightly scornful. “What occult meaning has a sun-dial for a spooney ? I’m sure I don't want to read riddles into a strange gentleman’s optics.”
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Verb[edit]

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, meaning Answer the following question.
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Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English riddil, ridelle (sieve), from Old English hriddel (sieve), alteration of earlier hridder, hrīder, from Proto-Germanic *hridą (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.

Noun[edit]

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.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

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.
  2. To fill with holes like a riddle.
    The machinegun fire began to riddle the poor Afghanis.
  3. To fill or spread throughout; to pervade.
    Your argument is riddled with errors.
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