squig·​gle | \ ˈskwi-gəl How to pronounce squiggle (audio) \
squiggled; squiggling\ ˈskwi-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce squiggling (audio) \

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 How to pronounce squiggly (audio) \ 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

Why did adidas feel the need to plaster Schalke's 1992/93 home kit with seemingly random squiggles that had no place being there? SI.com, "50 Worst Football Shirts of All Time," 3 July 2019 Grab a bold, black liquid liner and squiggle out a groovy line across both lids (because drawing inside the lines is overrated). Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "7 Easy and Festive Makeup Ideas To Amp Up Any Holiday Party," 22 Dec. 2018 Thick fluids form straight lines when being spread rapidly across a canvas, but will form loops and squiggles and figure eights if poured slowly. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study: modern masters like Jackson Pollock were “intuitive physicists”," 26 Dec. 2018 Fitzpatrick flips his computer around to show me his work, the multicolored loops and squiggles forming a shape like the symbol for Pisces. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Heroes of Science Who Are Unlocking the Brain," 3 Oct. 2018 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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on squiggle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with squiggle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for squiggle

Nglish: Translation of squiggle for Spanish Speakers

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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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