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.

1530–40; perhaps blend of twitch and fiddle

twiddler, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
twiddle (ˈtwɪdəl)
vb (when intr, often foll by with)
1.  to twirl or fiddle (with), often in an idle way
2.  to do nothing; be unoccupied
3.  (intr) to turn, twirl, or rotate
4.  rare (intr) to be occupied with trifles
5.  an act or instance of twiddling
[C16: probably a blend of twirl + fiddle]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1540, "to trifle," of unknown origin; of the fingers, first recorded 1676. Fig. 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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

twiddle definition

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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Example sentences
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.
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