\ 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 squirm (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 Chargers general manager Tom Telesco might squirm a bit if the draft board resembles this mock draft, preferring to use his first-round pick on an offensive tackle. Brett Knight, Forbes, "NFL Mock Draft 2021: Breaking Down The Quarterback Logjam After Trevor Lawrence," 21 Apr. 2021 Try not to squirm -- this one goes by the strange, slithery nickname, Worm Moon. CNN, "Start your week smart: Supermoon, George Floyd, Baltimore, Suez Canal, slain officer," 28 Mar. 2021 There’s room for stripping to meet comedy; for raunchiness to play with tragedy; for the beautiful to face the grotesque; and for the performer to make the audience squirm. New York Times, "What Is Life Without Burlesque?," 25 Mar. 2021 Axis deer can leap over fences up to 5 feet tall, though Seale said most squirm out from under them. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, "Like feral hogs, Texas' exotic axis deer can be destructive, but they are a delicious addition to the state's hunting scene," 16 Mar. 2021 And there’s a lot in her public record to make both conservatives and moderates squirm. Andrew Mckean, Outdoor Life, "6 Key Issues We Hope the New Interior Secretary Tackles—and How to Pull It Off in This Partisan Era," 5 Mar. 2021 Under the alternate approach, the player tries to squirm out of trouble through a series of desperate maneuvers, but each futile move only prolongs the death spiral. Robert Goulder, Forbes, "The BEPS Gambit: Is Corporate Tax Harmonization Doomed?," 3 Mar. 2021 Zendaya actually gets why people might squirm at the idea of her taking on such a mature role — she's spent most of her career playing a teenager. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Zendaya Has A Message For Anybody Concerned About Malcom & Marie: “I’m Grown”," 29 Jan. 2021 Earlier generations of winter tires with such siping suffered from a side effect on dry pavement, when the tread would seem to squirm beneath the car, creating an unsettled, disconnected feeling for drivers. Dan Carney, Popular Science, "Everything you thought you knew about winter tires but didn’t," 12 Dec. 2020

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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Squirm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squirm. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for squirm



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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Comments on squirm

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