\ ˈskwərm How to pronounce squirm (audio) \
squirmed; squirming; squirms

Definition of squirm

intransitive verb

: to twist about like a worm : fidget

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Other Words from squirm

squirm noun
squirmy \ ˈskwər-​mē How to pronounce squirmy (audio) \ adjective

Examples of squirm in a Sentence

The baby squirmed a lot when I tried to hold him. She squirmed under her father's angry stare. The children squirmed with delight. He tried to hold onto her but she squirmed free. The frog squirmed out of his hands. The gory details of the story had me squirming in my seat.
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Recent Examples on the Web The incident started when a giant bull elephant seal, about a 3,500-pounder, squirmed ashore at Drakes Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Point Reyes incident sets off wildlife ethics challenge," 5 Jan. 2020 Victor Llorente for The New York Times The red velvet seats at the David H. Koch Theater were quickly filling up — not with the usual ballet audience, but with squirming, shrieking and giggling elementary school students. Julia Jacobs, New York Times, "The Youngest (and Liveliest) ‘Nutcracker’ Audience of the Season," 24 Dec. 2019 As for the Asuras reading this, if any of you is squirming at the possibility of being one, there lies the problem. Harish Pullanoor, Quartz India, "We, the permanent villains of Indian mythology, must reclaim our fallen icons," 30 Dec. 2019 But in earlier trips to lakes like these, researchers have been able to find a diverse community of organisms squirming around in the water. Sarah Scoles, Quartz, "MIT researchers are building an instrument to study genetics on Mars," 2 Dec. 2019 The child giggled and squirmed out of their arms during the long hearing. BostonGlobe.com, "Macharla, 45, was sentenced to up to four years in prison for the death of Ridhima, who prosecutors said Macharla shook so violently while she was caring for the child in March 2015 that the baby’s brain began to bleed.," 12 Oct. 2019 Meanwhile, puppies named after Harry Potter characters squirmed like fat worms in the back seat. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, "Capitals traded pucks for pups in annual canine calendar shoot," 15 Oct. 2019 The left-hander tossed five effective innings, squirming out of two bases-loaded jams, as the Cubs improved to 7-2 in his nine starts this season. Greg Swatek, The Seattle Times, "Bryant hits 3 HRs as Cubs punish Nats’ bullpen in 14-6 win," 18 May 2019 Bobo has not squirmed on the hot seat, leading the Rams to three consecutive victories. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Lunch Special: If Broncos QB Brandon Allen keeps winning, will Drew Lock not play this season?," 4 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'squirm.' 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 squirm

circa 1691, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for squirm

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for squirm

Time Traveler

The first known use of squirm was circa 1691

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Statistics for squirm

Last Updated

6 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Squirm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squirm. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for squirm


How to pronounce squirm (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of squirm

: to make a lot of twisting movements because you are nervous, uncomfortable, bored, etc.


\ ˈskwərm How to pronounce squirm (audio) \
squirmed; squirming

Kids Definition of squirm

: to twist about because of nervousness or embarrassment or in an effort to move or escape … it was no use trying to squirm loose …— Carl Hiaasen, Hoot

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More from Merriam-Webster on squirm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for squirm

Spanish Central: Translation of squirm

Nglish: Translation of squirm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of squirm for Arabic Speakers

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