Definitions for: Riddle

[n] a coarse sieve (as for gravel)
[n] a difficult problem
[v] set a riddle
[v] explain a riddle
[v] speak in riddles
[v] pierce many times; "The bullets riddled his body"
[v] separate with a riddle, as grain from chaff

Webster (1913) Definition: Rid"dle, n. [OE. ridil, AS. hridder; akin to G. reiter,
L. cribrum, and to Gr. ??? 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, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Riddled; p. pr. & vb. n.
1. To separate, as grain from the chaff, with a riddle; to
pass through a riddle; as, riddle wheat; to riddle coal or

2. To perforate so as to make like a riddle; to make many
holes in; as, a house riddled with shot.

Rid"dle, n. [For riddels, s being misunderstood as the
plural ending; OE. ridels, redels. AS. r?dels; akin to D.
raadsel, G. r["a]thsel; fr. AS. r?dan to counsel or advise,
also, to guess. [root]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, v. t.
To explain; to solve; to unriddle.

Riddle me this, and guess him if you can. --Dryden.

Rid"dle, v. i.
To speak ambiguously or enigmatically. ``Lysander riddels
very prettily.'' --Shak.

Synonyms: brain-teaser, conundrum, enigma, screen

See Also: amaze, baffle, beat, bewilder, communicate, dumbfound, figure out, flummox, get, gravel, intercommunicate, lick, mystify, nonplus, perplex, pierce, pose, problem, puzzle, puzzle out, screen, sieve, sieve, sift, solve, strain, stupefy, vex, work, work out

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