fiddle around

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fiddle around

1. To play with or idly handle (something); to tinker (with something), especially ineptly or improperly. John, would you quit fiddling around with that engine and bring the car to a shop already? Mary, stop fiddling around with the hem of your dress and sit still!
2. To engage in aimless recreation or frivolous time-wasting with someone or something. Quit fiddling around and work on your book report already!
3. To annoy or irritate someone, often by wasting their time. Quit fiddling around with me and give my book back, will you?
See also: around, fiddle
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

fiddle around (with something)

 and fiddle about (with something)
to play with something; to tinker with something ineptly. My brother is outside fiddling around with his car engine. He should stop fiddling around and go out and get a job.
See also: around, fiddle

fiddle around

(with someone) and fiddle about (with someone) to tease, annoy, or play with someone; to waste someone's time. All right, stop fiddling around with me and tell me how much you will give me for my car. Now it's time for all of you to quit fiddling around and get to work. Tom, you have to stop spending your time fiddling about with your friends. It's time to get serious with your studies.
See also: around, fiddle
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

fiddle around

v.
To act foolishly, playfully, or without a clear sense of purpose: If you don't stop fiddling around and start working, we'll never get home.
See also: around, fiddle
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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