squirmed; squirming; squirms

intransitive verb

: to twist about like a worm : fidget
squirm noun
squirmy 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The ball squirmed inside the right post despite Gonzalez's attempt to keep it out. CiarÁn Fahey, USA TODAY, 27 Jan. 2024 The viscerally uncomfortable-with-red-carpets actor shifted and squirmed as he was asked about the possibility about a Succession spinoff. Vulture, 7 Jan. 2024 Wild celebrations The Emirates erupted as Trossard’s shot squirmed into the net, with Arteta leading the party from the touchline. Ben Church, CNN, 5 Feb. 2024 Bob squirmed to get away, but Hadley held on, and a few seconds later, the crew pulled them both out of the water with the line attached to Hadley’s suit. Cathy Free, Washington Post, 18 Jan. 2024 The messy gray areas of the relationship between these characters unfolds in non-linear fashion and leaves the audience guessing, and sometimes squirming with dread, to the end. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Dec. 2023 Meanwhile, as the kids squirm, the alligator widens its jaws. Katie Hill, Outdoor Life, 17 Jan. 2024 Morgan, Medley and Ramona Singer looked on in disgust, squirming at the sight of it. Julia Moore, Peoplemag, 29 Dec. 2023 What the body camera footage captured was the lack of training for officers on when Taser use is appropriate, Douglas said, adding that officers often misinterpret a person squirming as a form of resistance that justifies the device’s use. Libor Jany, Los Angeles Times, 26 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

circa 1691, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of squirm was circa 1691

Dictionary Entries Near squirm

Cite this Entry

“Squirm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squirm. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to twist about like an eel or a worm
squirmed in their seats
: to feel very embarrassed
undeserved praise made us squirm
squirmy adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on squirm

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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