English

Definition of diddle verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

diddle

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//ˈdɪdl//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪdl//
 
Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they diddle
BrE BrE//ˈdɪdl//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪdl//
 
he / she / it diddles
BrE BrE//ˈdɪdlz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪdlz//
 
past simple diddled
BrE BrE//ˈdɪdld//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪdld//
 
past participle diddled
BrE BrE//ˈdɪdld//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪdld//
 
-ing form diddling
BrE BrE//ˈdɪdlɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪdlɪŋ//
 
 
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diddle somebody (out of something) (British English, informal) to get money or some advantage from somebody by cheating them synonym cheat He’s been diddling the taxman for years. My old boss diddled me out of over £5 000. Word Origin early 19th cent.: probably from the name of Jeremy Diddler, a character in the farce Raising the Wind (1803) by the Irish dramatist James Kenney (1780–1849). Diddler constantly borrowed and failed to repay small sums of money: the name may be based on an earlier verb diddle ‘walk unsteadily’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: diddle