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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 ?
However, if they are not bold enough they might be seen as fiddling while Rome burns," she said.
Nor could he ever be charged with the sporting equivalent of fiddling while Rome burns.
The whole industry stinks and if the Football League thinks that pushing a club towards relegation does anything to repair an already tattered reputation they are fiddling while Rome burns around them.
A classic example of Nero fiddling while Rome burns.
His statements could be likened to fiddling while Rome burns --refusing to act while diverting attention from the ever-worsening economic conditions.
Leo Suggs is Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burns," said John Murphy, Teamster Vice President and National Organizing Director.