Definition of fiddly in US English:



  • Complicated or detailed and awkward to do or use.

    ‘replacing the battery is fiddly’
    • ‘It dispenses the necessary white stuff delicately with the minimum of fuss while the oafs around you flounder with fiddly lids and squeezy bottles.’
    • ‘But as it's not stand-alone and looks a bit fiddly to install and run, it's probably less hassle to save up for a new camera.’
    • ‘When she cooks, she does not make a fiddly Korean banquet or a tri-coloured roulade with a difficult sauce.’
    • ‘This week it's time for the details, pitfalls and fiddly bits.’
    • ‘On a drawer measuring a square inch, that's fiddly work.’
    • ‘This, however, is so fiddly and impossible to operate that even my eight-year-old son was stumped.’
    • ‘But those fiddly, pretty styles involving clips and partings everywhere are beyond me.’
    • ‘Like most DVD recorders, the Sony is fiddly to use compared with VHS machines.’
    • ‘Everyday things have become fiddly, making a cup of tea is a complicated process when I can hardly see.’
    • ‘Soup-making is often viewed as time-consuming and fiddly.’
    • ‘The game's main faults are the fiddly control system.’
    • ‘This task took me a couple of hours to complete, mainly because the tags were rather fiddly, but I'm extremely pleased with the results.’
    • ‘And you wouldn't believe how fiddly it is to persuade Windows 98 to use only the left hand side of a computer screen.’
    • ‘I found it a bit fiddly, but then I haven't used a different browser since Netscape disappeared from sight about five years back.’
    • ‘I find it very difficult tying hairs on hooks and other small fiddly things with my hands, which these days which never seem to be free of pain.’
    • ‘A close cousin of radicchio, it is dead fiddly to grow.’
    • ‘This ensures that the charcoal is glowing rather than smoking, and gets the fiddly lighting process out of the way before anyone arrives.’
    • ‘The radio is of the small and fiddly variety, with the controls at the base of the central console, making them hard to reach while driving.’
    • ‘Okay, it's not rocket science, but it's still really fiddly, and we're not lying on our backs under a kitchen sink.’
    • ‘I've not used it before - it was a bit fiddly but I was very impressed.’
    problematic, hard, puzzling, baffling, perplexing, confusing, mystifying, mysterious
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