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

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

Verb a pediatrician's waiting room full of squiggling toddlers there are some illegible notes squiggled in the margins of the old book Noun 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 The abstract and surreal image shows a glowing bloom of the Soyuz’s second stage while the exhaust from the initial rocket launch trails behind in a snaking squiggle, just above the curvature of the Earth’s horizon. Johnny Simon, Quartz, "A NASA astronaut captured a gorgeously surreal image of a rocket launch," 26 Sep. 2019 Even more fun: draw the exact same squiggle on a few bits of paper and see the different interpretations from different players. Ivan Brett, New York Times, "5 Games to Help Make Your Vacation Great," 23 July 2019 Her original design takes a cerulean background, adding swirly squiggles inspired by Memphis design and the lesser known Archizoom across the pelvis and down one leg. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "These Artist-Designed Tights Are the Antidote to Boring Black Hosiery," 15 Nov. 2018 Some parts of central Athens are so afflicted with graffiti — largely undecipherable squiggles in bold, broad strokes — that few facades remain untouched and property owners give up on repainting. Washington Post, "Kilroy was here: Athens walls awash in painted squiggles," 17 Aug. 2019 One player draws a random shape on a page and the other must finish the drawing, turning the squiggle into something recognizable. Ivan Brett, New York Times, "5 Games to Help Make Your Vacation Great," 23 July 2019 In puddle-deep tracks next to the levees the endless squiggles of Florida bladderwort, an aquatic plant, kept looking like snakes, and weren’t. Gena Steffens, Smithsonian, "The Snakes That Ate Florida," 11 July 2019 The process starts with the longline being baited and draped out in tight squiggle across the waters of the Bering Sea. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "We Tried it: Tracing a Natural, Sustainable Pet Food to Its Source Out in Alaska's Bering Sea," 25 June 2019 Each card displays a different design with four attributes — color (which can be red, purple or green), shape (oval, diamond or squiggle), shading (solid, striped or outlined) and number (one, two or three copies of the shape). Quanta Magazine, "Simple Set Game Proof Stuns Mathematicians," 31 May 2016

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

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for squiggle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with squiggle

Nglish: Translation of squiggle for Spanish Speakers

Comments on squiggle

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