twerk·​ing ˈtwər-kiŋ How to pronounce twerking (audio)
: sexually suggestive dancing characterized by rapid, repeated hip thrusts and shaking of the buttocks especially while squatting
twerking has become a catch-all for an overtly sexualized style of dancing wherein one manipulates the hips and posterior in an often hypnotic and physics-defying bounce.Luke O'Neil
twerk intransitive verb
twerked; twerking; twerks
As my family watched in horror, I began to twerk, crouching down and bouncing my booty … Libby Gelman-Waxner

Examples of twerking in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Similarly, choreography videos that showed twerking, grinding, or in which the dancer wore minimal clothing were demonetized under YouTube’s policy. Amrita Khalid, The Verge, 17 Nov. 2023 Sure, Miley's twerking made our list, but don't forget about these moments from Oasis, Madonna, Beyoncé and more music stars! Kate Hogan, Peoplemag, 12 Sep. 2023 Her attempts at seduction include awkward twerking, nude swimming, and cute little dates. Vulture, 25 May 2023 Lizzo is very comfortable twerking. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, 25 Nov. 2022 More thirst trapping, more twerking. Megan Thomas, CNN, 12 Dec. 2021 Given this context, there was an air of pleasurable vengeance in the fact that the protests that ousted Ricardo Rosselló were galvanized by what came to be called perreo combativo — militant twerking — set to the driving dembow rhythm of the music his father tried, and failed, to eradicate. New York Times, 31 Jan. 2020 Smith-Poynter said her passion to share the origins of twerking are rooted in a desire to represent Black stories from a culturally accurate perspective. Emily Mesner, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Feb. 2023 Before Bad Bunny took the stage, DJs Alesso and Diplo were opening acts, preparing the public for a night of perreo intenso — intense twerking. Dallas News, 10 Sep. 2022

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

Word History


twerk, phonesthemic coinage, perhaps with elements of twist entry 1 and jerk entry 1

First Known Use

2001, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of twerking was in 2001

Dictionary Entries Near twerking

Cite this Entry

“Twerking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

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