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1. a violin played as a folk instrument
2. Nautical a small railing around the top of a table to prevent objects from falling off it in bad weather



a stringed instrument, played with a bow. The fiddle was used from the eighth to the mid-14th century in Western Europe by itinerant musicians. In German-speaking countries the term “Fiedel” is analogous to the “vielle” or “viola” of Romance languages. The fiddle was spade-shaped, pear-shaped, or guitar-shaped, the last-mentioned being the classic type. Initially, its body had two flat sounding boards, square upper bouts, two semicircular soundholes, a fingerboard without frets, and a flat pegbox with perpendicularly placed tuning pegs. The fiddle had one to five strings, which were tuned in fourths or fifths (seeSTRINGED INSTRUMENT, BOWED).


Struve, B. A. Protsess formirovaniia viol i skripok. Moscow, 1959. Pages 37–55.
References in periodicals archive ?
Britain's record on arms to the Gulf is already extremely chequered and it's worrying that once again human rights seem to be playing second fiddle to commercial considerations.
BAR sources refused to comment, but Barrichello is thought to be fed up playing second fiddle to Michael Schumacher.
Crossley is currently playing second fiddle to Edwin van de Sar at Loftus Road.
Azcairraga may resent playing second fiddle to the U.
For his next fight, he'll be playing second fiddle to the Open University and the National Anthem.
They are suggesting lines be drawn between the two towns, with Nunea- ton given priority attention and Bed-worth playing second fiddle.
Do you know how many years I've been playing second fiddle to that rabbit?
The 24-year-old local player has had to fight tooth and nail to convince Tony Pulis he deserves an extended run in the side after playing second fiddle for several seasons.
The goalie got fed up playing second fiddle to veteran Alan Main.
Distinction looked to be playing second fiddle to the heavily backed 11-4 chance Balkan Knight at the business end.
This is your last chance to see the guys playing second fiddle to anyone, but get there early to catch We Are Scientists and Mystery Jets as well.
But that's just what happened last week at the Los Angeles Zoo when the mayor found himself playing second fiddle to a pair of new Sumatran tiger cubs.