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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.
We're long enough playing second fiddle to all the teams in Leinster and things are changing for the better.
However, despite her stunning looks the 22-year-old found herself playing second fiddle to former Boyzone singer Ronan Keating.
The worried manager said: "Since Hawks were formed a decade ago, GHA have watched them dominate the scene in the west - and are fed up playing second fiddle.
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The former Clyde stopper is playing second fiddle to on-loan Rangers man Allan McGregor as the East End Park side struggle at the foot of the SPL.
With seven-time Supercross champion Jeremy McGrath rejoining the fray, it seems as if Windham is playing second fiddle to his Honda teammate.
The 27-year-old has not scored since the middle of January and has found himself playing second fiddle to James Beattie and Kevin Phillips.
Two weapons inspectors have confirmed that the British people and their parliament were duped into believing that the threat from Iraq was imminent,by a prime minister playing second fiddle to an American president bent on personal revenge.
Tony Blair apparently enjoys playing second fiddle to Bush's war cacophony, but our lads are certainly not a second-class force and deserve better.
She said: "The part is really playing second fiddle to Mike, so I turned it down.
Morrison looked set to leave the Pars after playing second fiddle to Adam Hammilland Jim O'Brien since January.