fiddle Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “fiddle” in the English Dictionary

"fiddle" in British English

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fiddleverb

uk   us   /ˈfɪd.l̩/
  • fiddle verb (CHEAT)

[T] UK informal to ​actdishonestly in ​order to get something for yourself, or to ​change something ​dishonestly, ​especially to ​youradvantage: She ​managed to fiddle a ​freetrip to ​America. He had been fiddling the ​accounts/​books/​finances for ​years.
  • fiddle verb (MOVE ABOUT)

[I] to ​move things about or ​touch things with no ​particularpurpose: Put ​yourpapers down and ​stop fiddling with them!

fiddlenoun

uk   us   /ˈfɪd.l̩/
  • fiddle noun (INSTRUMENT)

[C] informal a violin : to ​play the fiddle
  • fiddle noun (DISHONEST BEHAVIOUR)

[C or U] UK informal something ​dishonest that someone does in ​order to get ​money or other ​advantages: a ​tax fiddle Everyone ​suspected they were on the fiddle (= ​cheating).
(Definition of fiddle from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"fiddle" in American English

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fiddleverb [I always + adv/prep]

 us   /ˈfɪd·əl/
to move things around or ​touch things without a ​particularpurpose: He ​stood there fiddling with his ​keys.
Phrasal verbs

fiddlenoun [C]

 us   /ˈfɪd·əl/
  • fiddle noun [C] (INSTRUMENT)

a ​violin
(Definition of fiddle from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"fiddle" in Business English

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fiddleverb

uk   us   /ˈfɪdl/ informal
[T] to ​changefigures dishonestly, often in ​order to get more ​money: fiddle your overtime/expenses The ​report criticised ​officers who fiddled their ​overtime and ​taxinspectors who received ​tax-freebonuses.
[I] to ​change something very slightly: fiddle with sth If you fiddle with the ​figures in the ​investmentcolumn, you should be able to get your ​budget to ​balance.
fiddle the books to dishonestly ​change a company's ​accounts or ​financialrecords: fiddled the ​books

fiddlenoun [C]

uk   us   /ˈfɪdl/ informal
something dishonest that is done in ​order to get ​money: tax/expenses/insurance fiddle A ​year later, he ​changed the ​rule, on the ​grounds that it was being used as a ​tax fiddle.
on the fiddle involved in dishonest ​behaviour, usually to get ​money: One in two holidaymakers ​claiming for ​lostluggage could be on the fiddle, ​claims a ​leadingtravelinsurancefirm.
play second fiddle to sb/sth to be seen as less important than another ​person or thing: There were ​times when ​security seemed to ​play second fiddle to how the ​securitycompany wanted to ​present itself to the ​world.
(Definition of fiddle from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“fiddle” in American English

“fiddle” in Business English

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