riddle
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ˈɹɪdəl/
Noun

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?
    • 1671, John Milton, “Samson Agonistes, […]”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: Printed by J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], OCLC 228732398 ↗, page 72 ↗:
      To wring from me and tell to them my ſecret, / That ſolv'd the riddle which I had propos'd.
    • 1907, Robert William Chambers, chapter VIII, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326 ↗:
      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.
Related terms
  • a riddle wrapped up in an enigma
  • riddle stick
Translations Verb

riddle (riddles, present participle riddling; 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.
Translations 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.
Verb

riddle (riddles, present participle riddling; past and past participle riddled)

  1. To put something through a riddle or sieve#Noun|sieve, to sieve#Verb|sieve, to sift#Verb|sift.
    You have to riddle the gravel before you lay it on the road.
  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.
Translations Translations Translations 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
Verb

riddle (riddles, present participle riddling; past and past participle riddled)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To plait

Riddle
Proper noun
  1. Surname
  2. A city in Oregon.



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