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[twid-l] /ˈtwɪd l/
verb (used with object), twiddled, twiddling.
to turn about or play with lightly or idly, especially with the fingers; twirl.
verb (used without object), twiddled, twiddling.
to play or trifle idly with something; fiddle.
to turn about lightly; twirl.
the act of twiddling; turn; twirl.
twiddle one's thumbs, to do nothing; be idle:
Business was slack, and the salespeople were twiddling their thumbs.
Origin of twiddle
1530-40; perhaps blend of twitch and fiddle
Related forms
twiddler, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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British Dictionary definitions for twiddle


when intr, often foll by with. to twirl or fiddle (with), often in an idle way
to do nothing; be unoccupied
(intransitive) to turn, twirl, or rotate
(intransitive) (rare) to be occupied with trifles
an act or instance of twiddling
Derived Forms
twiddler, noun
Word Origin
C16: probably a blend of twirl + fiddle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for twiddle

1540s, "to trifle," of unknown origin; of the fingers, first recorded 1670s. Figurative phrase twiddle one's thumbs "have nothing to do" is recorded from 1846; to twirl one's thumbs in the same sense is recorded from 1816. Related: Twiddled; twiddling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for twiddle

twenty-twenty hindsight

noun phrase

Perfect foresight of what has already been seen: observers empowered with 20-20 hindsight wanted to know (1962+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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twiddle in Technology

1. The tilde character.
2. (To make) a small or insignificant change. E.g. twiddling a program often fixes one bug and generates several new ones (see also shotgun debugging). Bits are often twiddled. Twiddling a switch or knob implies much less sense of purpose than toggling or tweaking it; see frobnicate. Bit twiddling connotes aimlessness, and at best doesn't specify what you're doing to the bit; to "toggle a bit" has a more specific meaning.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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