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Webster 1913 Edition


Riddle

Rid′dle

(rĭd′d’l)
,
Noun.
[OE.
ridil
, AS.
hridder
; akin to G.
reiter
, L.
cribrum
, and to Gr.
κρίνειν
to distinguish, separate, and G.
rein
clean. See
Crisis
,
Certain
.]
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 having a row of pins, set zigzag, between which wire is drawn to straighten it.

Rid′dle

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Riddled
(rĭd′d’ld)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Riddling
(rĭd′dlĭng)
.]
1.
To separate, as grain from the chaff, with a riddle; to pass through a riddle;
as,
riddle
wheat; to
riddle
coal or gravel
.
2.
To perforate so as to make like a riddle; to make many holes in;
as, a house
riddled
with shot
.

Rid′dle

,
Noun.
[For
riddels
, s being misunderstood as the plural ending; OE.
ridels
,
redels
. AS. rǣdels; akin to D.
raadsel
, G.
räthsel
; fr. AS.
rǣdan
to counsel or advise, also, to guess. √116. Cf.
Read
.]
Something proposed to be solved by guessing or conjecture; a puzzling question; an ambiguous proposition; an enigma; hence, anything ambiguous or puzzling.
To wring from me, and tell to them, my secret,
That solved the
riddle
which I had proposed.
Milton.
’T was a strange
riddle
of a lady.
Hudibras.

Rid′dle

,
Verb.
T.
To explain; to solve; to unriddle.
Riddle
me this, and guess him if you can.
Dryden.

Rid′dle

,
Verb.
I.
To speak ambiguously or enigmatically.
Lysander
riddles very prettily.”
Shak.

Webster 1828 Edition


Riddle

RID'DLE

,
Noun.
[See Cradle.]
An instrument for cleaning grain, being a large sieve with a perforated button, which permits the grain to pass through it, but retains the chaff.

RID'DLE

,
Verb.
T.
To separate, as grain from the chaff with a riddle; as, to riddle wheat. [Note. The machines now used have nearly superseded the riddle.]

RID'DLE

,
Noun.
[See Read.]
1.
An enigma; something proposed for conjecture, or that is to be solved by conjecture; a puzzling question; an ambiguous proposition. Judges 14.
2.
Any thing ambiguous or puzzling.

RID'DLE

,
Verb.
T.
To solve; to explain; but we generally use unriddle, which is more proper.
Riddle me this, and guess him if you can.

RID'DLE

,
Verb.
I.
To speak ambiguously, obscurely or enigmatically.

Definition 2022


Riddle

Riddle

See also: riddle

English

Proper noun

Riddle

  1. A surname.
  2. A city in Oregon.

riddle

riddle

See also: Riddle

English

Noun

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 W[illiam] Chambers, “chapter VIII”, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4241346:
      Elbows almost touching they leaned at ease, idly reading the almost obliterated lines engraved there. "I never understood it," she observed, lightly scornful. "What occult meaning has a sun-dial for the spooney? I'm sure I don't want to read riddles in a strange gentleman's optics."
  2. An ancient verbal, poetic, or literary form, in which, rather than a rhyme scheme, there are parallel opposing expressions with a hidden meaning.
    Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. (Luke 17:33)
    Keep sharpening the blade, you'll soon blunt it. (Lau Tsu, Tao Te Ching 9)
Synonyms
Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Verb

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.
Translations

Etymology 2

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

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

Verb

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), 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 machinegun fire began to riddle the poor Afghanis.
  3. To fill or spread throughout; to pervade.
    Your argument is riddled with errors.
Translations

Etymology 3

From Middle English riddel, ridel, redel, rudel, from Old French ridel ("a plaited stuff; curtain"; > Middle 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.

Noun

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 4

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

Verb

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

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To plait

Anagrams