To play second fiddle
Fiddle Fid"dle (f[i^]d"d'l), n. [OE. fidele, fithele, AS. fi[eth]ele; akin to D. vedel, OHG. fidula, G. fiedel, Icel. fi[eth]la, and perh. to E. viol. Cf. {Viol}.] 1. (Mus.) A stringed instrument of music played with a bow; a violin; a kit. [1913 Webster]

2. (Bot.) A kind of dock ({Rumex pulcher}) with fiddle-shaped leaves; -- called also {fiddle dock}. [1913 Webster]

3. (Naut.) A rack or frame of bars connected by strings, to keep table furniture in place on the cabin table in bad weather. --Ham. Nav. Encyc. [1913 Webster]

{Fiddle beetle} (Zo["o]l.), a Japanese carabid beetle ({Damaster blaptoides}); -- so called from the form of the body.

{Fiddle block} (Naut.), a long tackle block having two sheaves of different diameters in the same plane, instead of side by side as in a common double block. --Knight.

{Fiddle bow}, fiddlestick.

{Fiddle fish} (Zo["o]l.), the angel fish.

{Fiddle head}, See {fiddle head} in the vocabulary.

{Fiddle pattern}, a form of the handles of spoons, forks, etc., somewhat like a violin.

{Scotch fiddle}, the itch. (Low)

{To play first fiddle}, or {To play second fiddle}, to take a leading or a subordinate part. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To play first fiddle — Fiddle Fid dle (f[i^]d d l), n. [OE. fidele, fithele, AS. fi[eth]ele; akin to D. vedel, OHG. fidula, G. fiedel, Icel. fi[eth]la, and perh. to E. viol. Cf. {Viol}.] 1. (Mus.) A stringed instrument of music played with a bow; a violin; a kit. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • play second fiddle — to have a less important position or status than someone or something else : to be regarded or treated as less important a former star athlete who is not happy to play second fiddle as he nears the end of his career often + to He s not happy to …   Useful english dictionary

  • play second fiddle (to somebody) — play second ˈfiddle (to sb/sth) idiom to be treated as less important than sb/sth; to have a less important position than sb/sth else • I m not going to play second fiddle to anyone. • The narrative in this book plays second fiddle to the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • play second fiddle (to something) — play second ˈfiddle (to sb/sth) idiom to be treated as less important than sb/sth; to have a less important position than sb/sth else • I m not going to play second fiddle to anyone. • The narrative in this book plays second fiddle to the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • play second fiddle to sb — play second fiddle to sb/sth ► to be seen as less important than another person or thing: »There were times when security seemed to play second fiddle to how the security company wanted to present itself to the world. Main Entry: ↑fiddle …   Financial and business terms

  • play second fiddle to sb/sth — ► to be seen as less important than another person or thing: »There were times when security seemed to play second fiddle to how the security company wanted to present itself to the world. Main Entry: ↑fiddle …   Financial and business terms

  • play second fiddle to sth — play second fiddle to sb/sth ► to be seen as less important than another person or thing: »There were times when security seemed to play second fiddle to how the security company wanted to present itself to the world. Main Entry: ↑fiddle …   Financial and business terms

  • play second fiddle —    If you play second fiddle, you take a subordinate role behind someone more important.   (Dorking School Dictionary)    ***    If you play second fiddle to another person, you accept to be second in importance to that person, or have a lower… …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • play second fiddle to — take a subordinate role to someone or something in a way often considered demeaning she had to play second fiddle to the interests of her husband …   Useful english dictionary

  • play second fiddle to someone — play second fiddle (to (someone/something)) to be in a less important position than someone or something else. Radio has been playing second fiddle to television for decades now. Usage notes: sometimes used without play Etymology: based on the… …   New idioms dictionary

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