• WordNet 3.6
    • v riddle set a difficult problem or riddle "riddle me a riddle"
    • v riddle explain a riddle
    • v riddle speak in riddles
    • v riddle spread or diffuse through "An atmosphere of distrust has permeated this administration","music penetrated the entire building","His campaign was riddled with accusations and personal attacks"
    • v riddle pierce with many holes "The bullets riddled his body"
    • v riddle separate with a riddle, as grain from chaff
    • n riddle a coarse sieve (as for gravel)
    • n riddle a difficult problem
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Jimmy Hoffa's middle name is, appropriately, Riddle.
    • Riddle A board having a row of pins, set zigzag, between which wire is drawn to straighten it.
    • Riddle 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.
    • n Riddle 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."
      "'T was a strange riddle of a lady."
    • v. t Riddle To explain; to solve; to unriddle. "Riddle me this, and guess him if you can."
    • Riddle To perforate so as to make like a riddle; to make many holes in; as, a house riddled with shot.
    • Riddle To separate, as grain from the chaff, with a riddle; to pass through a riddle; as, riddle wheat; to riddle coal or gravel.
    • v. i Riddle To speak ambiguously or enigmatically. "Lysander riddels very prettily."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n riddle A proposition so framed as to exercise one's ingenuity in discovering its meaning; an ambiguous, complex, or puzzling question offered for solution; an enigma; a dark saying.
    • n riddle Anything abstruse, intricate, paradoxical, or puzzling; a puzzle.
    • n riddle A person who manifests ambiguities or contradictions of character or conduct.
    • riddle To explain; interpret; solve; unriddle.
    • riddle To understand; make out.
    • riddle To puzzle; perplex.
    • riddle To speak in riddles, ambiguously, or enigmatically.
    • n riddle A sieve, especially a coarse one for sand, grain, and the like.
    • n riddle In founding, a sieve with half-inch mesh, used in the molding-shop for cleaning and mixing old floor-sand.
    • n riddle In hydraulic engineering, a form of river-weir.
    • n riddle In wire-working, a flat board set with iron pins sloped in opposite directions. It is used to straighten wire, which is drawn in a zigzag course between the pins.
    • riddle To sift through a riddle or sieve: as, to riddle sand.
    • riddle To sift by means of a coarse-netted dredge, as young oysters on a bed.
    • riddle To reduce in quantity as if by sifting; condense.
    • riddle To fill with holes; especially, to perforate with shot so as to make like a riddle; hence, to puncture or pierce all over as if with shot; penetrate.
    • riddle To use a riddle or sieve; pass anything through a riddle.
    • riddle To fall in drops or fine streams, as through a riddle or sieve.
    • n riddle A curtain; a bed-curtain; in a church, one of the pair of curtains inclosing an altar on the north and south, often hung from rods driven into the wall.
    • riddle To plait.
    • n riddle In minting. See the extract.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Riddle rid′l an obscure description of something which the hearer is asked to name: a puzzling question: an enigma: anything puzzling, even a person
    • v.i Riddle to make riddles: to speak obscurely: to plait
    • n Riddle rid′l a large sieve for separating coarser materials from finer
    • v.t Riddle to separate with a riddle, as grain from chaff: to make full of holes like a riddle, as with shot
    • ***


  • Winston Churchill
    “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. [About Russia]”
  • James E. Burke
    James E. Burke
    “We don't grow unless we take risks. Any successful company is riddled with failures.”
  • Romain Rolland
    Romain Rolland
    “Skepticism, riddling the faith of yesterday, prepared the way for the faith of tomorrow.”
  • W. P. Scargill
    W. P. Scargill
    “Talent is something, but tact is everything. It is the interpreter of all riddles, the surmounter of all difficulties, the remover of all obstacles.”
  • Karl Kraus
    “A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer.”
  • Gregory Nunn
    Gregory Nunn
    “A writer is a person who has solutions for which there are no riddles.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
For riddels,s being misunderstood as the plural ending; OE. ridels, redels,. AS. rdels; akin to D. raadsel, G. räthsel,; fr. AS. rdan, to counsel or advise, also, to guess. √116. Cf. Read


In literature:

Well, son, I give up the riddle.
"From Place to Place" by Irvin S. Cobb
Meanwhile he must solve the riddle of this new Sphinx, or be devoured.
"The Writings of James Russell Lowell in Prose and Poetry, Volume V" by James Russell Lowell
Sears, however, did not, at this time, spare much thought to the Phillips riddle.
"Fair Harbor" by Joseph Crosby Lincoln
My boy, van Manderpootz has solved the riddle of the universe!
"The Ideal" by Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
Many have tried to solve the riddle, and some, you may depend, have been very hot on the track.
"The Nebuly Coat" by John Meade Falkner
Why do you talk in riddles?
"Stradella" by F(rancis) Marion Crawford
The riddle of the wide northern-world.
"The Heart of Unaga" by Ridgwell Cullum
What, so many wise heads have bent over this riddle, and not one to ask how was yon pedler shod!
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 107, September, 1866" by Various
Then comes the time for riddles!
"Games For All Occasions" by Mary E. Blain
He observed them, commented upon their industry, tasted the honey and composed his riddle.
"Diversions in Sicily" by H. Festing Jones

In poetry:

And Jesus said, "A riddle
Answer if you can,
Was man made for the Sabbath
Or Sabbath made for man?"
"The Boy Out Of Church" by Robert Graves
And I remember the musician
Faltering over his fiddle
In Bayswater, London,
He too set me the riddle.
"Memory of my Father" by Patrick Kavanagh
Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove
Over tedious riddles solved years ago;
And some words played between us to and fro—
On which lost the more by our love.
"Neutral Tones" by Thomas Hardy
The joy was almost more than man might bear!
And still my thoughts are lost in wild amaze--
The child unhurt--this blood--the hound--in troth,
The riddle passes my poor wits.
"Llewellyn" by Walter Richard Cassels
And have you come from Heaven to earth?
That were a road of little mirth,
A doleful travel.
"Why did I come?" you seem to cry,
But that's a riddle you and I
Can scarce unravel.
"To A New-Born Child" by William Cosmo Monkhouse
Would you think that she loved me?--Who can say?--
What a riddle unread was she to me!--
When I kissed her fingers and turned away
I wanted to speak, but--what cared she,
Though her eyes looked soft and she begged me stay!
"My Lady Of Verne" by Madison Julius Cawein

In news:

Riddles of a Sphinx .
The riddle of the Sphinx (Society) has been solved and the Dartmouth campus has breathed a sigh of relief.
SPIDER'S WEB: Many have tried -- and all in UFC have failed -- to solve the riddle known as Anderson Silva.
State Representative candidate Jeanie Riddle checks election results on her laptop.
Riddle, guest columnist: Building the Baylor Bears, step by strenuous step.
DON R RIDDLE Guest columnist.
The superhuman workforce comes riddled with future shock.
Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin says 56-year-old Ronnie Austin Riddle is charged with 13 counts and his 55-year-old wife Thomasine Sheehen Riddle is charged with 9 counts.
Maryland LB Hartsfield out for season with torn ACL, was injury-riddled Terps' leading tackler .
TALK ABOUT A RIDDLE wrapped in a mystery.
Everett Library's Margaret Riddle is a touchstone to regional history.
Fulton elections operations riddled with glitches.
Parkinson 's riddle targeted.
The relationship between the trans community and the feminist one has been riddled with frustration, anger and accusations of exclusivity.
BRIDGETON — Police responding to a report of gunshots on Oak Street Wednesday night found a bullet-riddled pickup truck .

In science:

Moreover, if the unification involved supersymmetry, as is generally expected, one of the most intriguing scientific riddles may find a natural explanation.
TESLA Technical Design Report Part I: Executive Summary
The origin of these galactic fields is still an as yet unsolved riddle in the astrophysical realm.
Report to Anaximander: A Dialogue on the Origin of the Cosmos in the Cradle of Western Civilization
One road will lead back into time, towards the very first instances in which the many truely fundamental riddles await us for further elucidation.
Report to Anaximander: A Dialogue on the Origin of the Cosmos in the Cradle of Western Civilization
It may indeed be claimed to hold the key towards solving the very riddle of the Universe itself.
Report to Anaximander: A Dialogue on the Origin of the Cosmos in the Cradle of Western Civilization
Ultimately, we may therefore even hope to use the accumulated understanding of the cosmic structure formation process towards solving the thrilling riddles of the very nature and origin of the Cosmos itself.
Report to Anaximander: A Dialogue on the Origin of the Cosmos in the Cradle of Western Civilization