squig·​gle | \ˈskwi-gəl \
squiggled; squiggling\ ˈskwi-​g(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of squiggle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : squirm, wriggle squiggling in her seat

2 : to write or paint hastily : scribble

transitive verb

1 : scribble

2 : to form or cause to form in squiggles



Definition of squiggle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a short wavy twist or line : curlicue especially : an illegible scrawl

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Other Words from squiggle


squiggly \ ˈskwi-​g(ə-​)lē \ adjective

Examples of squiggle in a Sentence


a pediatrician's waiting room full of squiggling toddlers there are some illegible notes squiggled in the margins of the old book


His handwriting looks like a bunch of squiggles.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The tadpoles of western toads squiggle, and water skeeters perform a graceful backwoods ballet. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "Battling Scotch broom along Olympic’s Hoh River that threatens fish, forests," 27 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

French chocolate cake is intensely chocolaty, abetted by rich coffee ice cream and a squiggle of blood-orange crumble. Phil Vettel, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Sky's the limit with ambitious Santo Cielo," 18 May 2018 There are also painterly squiggles on and around the imagery. Mike Giuliano, Howard County Times, "Artist gets metaphysical at Columbia Art Center," 6 July 2018 Its inky black squiggles reappear on the white chairs, linking the two in a netherworld. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "Liz Shepherd and Michelle Lougee make the mundane memorable," 27 June 2018 The association advised Grode that, because of the errant squiggle, the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State would reject her application. Sandra Guy, Chicago Reader, "Politics Illinois notaries are having a tough go—getting their licenses notarized," 4 July 2018 Sarah Gish The batter is light and crisp — not overcooked — and the salty rings beg for a sweet squiggle of ketchup from the red squirt bottle on the table. Sarah Gish, kansascity, "Batter up: Here are 18 KC-area places to get perfect, golden-fried onion rings," 21 June 2018 In America, his definition of cuisine—dressed up with a squiggle of ketchup or an undertow of gravy—looks a lot like, well, dinner. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "This Natalie Portman–Backed Documentary Will Make You Seriously Consider Going Vegetarian," 16 June 2018 Nigeria With bright green and black chevron-like squiggles, Nigeria’s home kit is certainly one that sticks out for the World Cup. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "World Cup teams debut colorful, throwback jerseys for the 2018 tournament," 13 June 2018 At first people were inclined to use their eyebrow hair to make interesting effects, like the feather brow or squiggle brow. Lindsey V Thompson, Allure, "The Yanny vs. Laurel Debate Just Became Brow Art," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'squiggle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of squiggle


circa 1816, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1900, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for squiggle


blend of squirm and wriggle

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Statistics for squiggle

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Time Traveler for squiggle

The first known use of squiggle was circa 1816

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More Definitions for squiggle



English Language Learners Definition of squiggle

: a short line with many curves : a short, wavy line

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Comments on squiggle

What made you want to look up squiggle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an inexhaustible supply or amount

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