- The definition of a riddle is a problem that is difficult to solve or that has no clear answer.
- An example of a riddle is an unexplained situation.
- An example of a riddle is the question: "What is the shortest sentence in English." The answer is "I am."
- a problem or puzzle in the form of a question, statement, etc. so formulated that some ingenuity is required to solve or answer it; conundrum
- any puzzling, perplexing, or apparently inexplicable person or thing, as a difficult problem or enigmatic saying; enigma
Origin: Middle English ridil from Old English rædels, akin to rædan, to guess, read
Origin: Middle English ridil from Old English hriddel, earlier hridder from base of hridrian, to sift, winnow, akin to German reiter from Indo-European base an unverified form (s)ker-, to cut, separate from source harvest
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
transitive verb rid·dled, rid·dling, rid·dles
- To pierce with numerous holes; perforate: riddle a target with bullets.
- To spread throughout: “Election campaigns have always been riddled with demagogy and worse” (New Republic).
- To put (gravel, for example) through a coarse sieve.
Origin: Middle English ridelen, to sift, from riddil, sieve, from Old English hriddel; see krei- in Indo-European roots.
- ridˈdler noun
- A question or statement requiring thought to answer or understand; a conundrum.
- One that is perplexing; an enigma.
- To propound or solve riddles.
- To speak in riddles.
Origin: Middle English redels, from Old English rǣdels; see ar- in Indo-European roots.
- ridˈdler noun