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twiddle

[twid-l] /ˈtwɪd l/
verb (used with object), twiddled, twiddling.
1.
to turn about or play with lightly or idly, especially with the fingers; twirl.
verb (used without object), twiddled, twiddling.
2.
to play or trifle idly with something; fiddle.
3.
to turn about lightly; twirl.
noun
4.
the act of twiddling; turn; twirl.
Idioms
5.
twiddle one's thumbs, to do nothing; be idle:
Business was slack, and the salespeople were twiddling their thumbs.
Origin
1530-1540
1530-40; perhaps blend of twitch and fiddle
Related forms
twiddler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for twiddle
  • That's a lot of time to twiddle thumbs while the status bar ticks away.
  • Yet until the random mutation appears, natural selection can only twiddle its thumbs.
  • If things do not go smoothly at startup, you have to twiddle some variables.
  • There are also quite a few knobs that you can twiddle that will help convergence.
British Dictionary definitions for twiddle

twiddle

/ˈtwɪdəl/
verb
1.
when intr, often foll by with. to twirl or fiddle (with), often in an idle way
2.
to do nothing; be unoccupied
3.
(intransitive) to turn, twirl, or rotate
4.
(intransitive) (rare) to be occupied with trifles
noun
5.
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
v.

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]
(1995-01-31)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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12
13
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