Definitionsregional note: in BRIT, also use fiddle about
1. phrasal verb If you fiddle around or fiddle about with a machine, you do things to it to try and make it work. [V P + with] ⇒ Two of them got out to fiddle around with the engine. [Also V P] 2. phrasal verb If someone fiddles around or fiddles about, they waste time doing unimportant things instead of dealing with important problems. [disapproval] mess around [V P] ⇒ He wants lawmakers to basically stop fiddling around as the country moves closer to breaking up. [V P with n] ⇒ He wastes time fiddling about with minor matters. 3. phrasal verb → fiddle If you say that someone is fiddling around with or fiddling about with something, you mean that they are changing it in a way that you disapprove of. [disapproval] [V P P n] ⇒ Right now in Congress, they're fiddling around with the budget and so on. [V P P n] ⇒ One always wonders when a man starts fiddling about with his Will.
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