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fidg·​et ˈfi-jət How to pronounce fidget (audio)
plural fidgets
: uneasiness or restlessness as shown by nervous movements
usually used in the phrase the fidgets
got the fidgets in church
a case of the fidgets
[fidget entry 2] : someone who fidgets
"I was a very energetic child and my mother looked for outlets for that energy. I was a fidget," she [Monica Mason] says.Nick Clark
: something (such as a toy) that is designed to be held and manipulated (as to decrease stress and anxiety)
For a child with tactile difficulties, … give the child a fidget, or toy, during seated activities.Vrinda Murphy
You've probably seen the kid spinning a thing that looks like a miniature alien spaceship on his thumb and wondered what that was all about. Or maybe you've noticed a co-worker secretly fiddling with a cube with buttons on it under the conference table. These odd-shaped, oddly addictive objects—designed to let you channel extra energy into your fingers as you go about your day—are fidgets.Ariana Eunjung Cha
Senior care facilities have found that residents with dementia enjoy using fidget spinners to occupy their hands, calm their minds, and redirect attention.Houston Defender
Besides being fun to hold and squeeze, slime is also a useful fidget toy that can alleviate anxiety and help kids stay on task, Palmer said.Cameron Morsberger


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fidgeted; fidgeting; fidgets

intransitive verb

: to move or act restlessly or nervously

transitive verb

: to cause to move or act nervously

Examples of fidget in a Sentence

Verb He was constantly fidgeting in his chair. small children are likely to fidget in church
Recent Examples on the Web
For instance, dogs that are frightened may attempt to flee, fight, fret and fidget, or freeze. Phillip Reese, Fortune Well, 27 Jan. 2024 Microsoft has been greatly improving Notepad on Windows 11 in recent years, adding a dark mode, tabs, character count, features like autosave and automatic restoration of tabs, and even a virtual fidget spinner. Tom Warren, The Verge, 9 Jan. 2024 So even as the trend fizzles out among Generation Z, never fear — grown-ups are stepping in to give fidget spinners a whirl. Sonia Rao, Kansas City Star, 31 Jan. 2024 This Grateful Dead fidget cube, which first came out last year, makes for the perfect stocking stuffer for the Deadhead in your life. Anna Tingley, Variety, 29 Nov. 2023 Shapeshifting Box The company’s popular fidget toy is a magnetic puzzle cube that can be transformed into 70 unique shapes. Anna Tingley, Variety, 29 Nov. 2023 Price at time of publish: $15 Kids love fidget toys, and this menorah and dreidel Hanukkah set is a great gift for little ones to add to their collections. Amanda Ogle, Southern Living, 22 Nov. 2023 And those with a sharp eye will notice more that a few fun design features tying in the spherical theme from the shape of the flying tourbillon to the shape of the lugs and the rounded design in each screw, resembling a fidget spinner shape. Paige Reddinger, Robb Report, 15 Nov. 2023 Find it on Amazon Stay Focused with Fun Fidget Putty Move over fidget spinners, the new calm-inducing champion is here – fidget putty. Poppy Morgan, Rolling Stone, 15 Nov. 2023
Other times as the action unfolded, there were cheers, wows, fidgeting as one character’s face is destroyed in an act of violence, and maybe a few laughs at unintended moments. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Jan. 2024 Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was shaking his head and fidgeting before the question was even finished. Brian Wacker, Baltimore Sun, 17 Jan. 2024 Tyler often got in trouble for talking out of turn and fidgeting at his desk. Julie Jargon, WSJ, 16 Dec. 2023 Sid, soft-spoken, radiating a kind of beatific innocence, is the older by almost eight years but seems that many years the younger; Marty, fidgeting while Sid tells some long story, will jump in to get to the point. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 27 Nov. 2023 Behavior that might normally raise suspicion—sweating, say, or fidgeting—is concealed behind the screen. Joel Khalili, WIRED, 7 Sep. 2023 Many studies use behaviors—such as note-taking or fidgeting—as proxies for attention, Bradbury says, but behavior isn't necessarily the same as focus itself. Jamie Ducharme, Time, 10 Aug. 2023 Also, be aware of constipation symptoms in younger children, such as excessive crying and movements like squatting or fidgeting. Colleen Stinchcombe, Health, 10 Aug. 2023 Make sure to maintain good eye contact, sit up straight and avoid fidgeting. Tim Madden, Forbes, 7 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fidget.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



irregular from fidge

First Known Use


1674, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1754, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of fidget was in 1674

Dictionary Entries Near fidget

Cite this Entry

“Fidget.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
fidg·​et ˈfij-ət How to pronounce fidget (audio)
plural : restlessness as shown by nervous movements
: one that fidgets


2 of 2 verb
: to move or act nervously or restlessly

More from Merriam-Webster on fidget

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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