wag·​gle | \ ˈwa-gəl How to pronounce waggle (audio) \
waggled; waggling\ ˈwa-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce waggling (audio) \

Definition of waggle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to reel, sway, or move from side to side : wag

transitive verb

: to move frequently one way and the other : wag



Definition of waggle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an instance of waggling : a jerky motion back and forth or up and down
2 : a preliminary swinging of a golf club head back and forth over the ball before the swing

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Other Words from waggle


waggly \ ˈwa-​g(ə-​)lē How to pronounce waggly (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for waggle

Synonyms: Verb

swish, switch, wag

Synonyms: Noun

swish, switch, wag, whisk

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Examples of waggle in a Sentence


He can waggle his ears. He can make his ears waggle.


a quick waggle of her head to indicate “no”
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In these noisy and dynamic few milliseconds the fat rear Michelins hazed and the Pista’s posterior waggled left, then right, violently, a 710-hp twerk. Dan Neil, WSJ, "I Drove a Screaming Fast Ferrari Among Ordinary Cars," 21 Feb. 2019 The story is more dignified and tonally consistent than in the last film — Redmayne never has to do another butt-waggling Erumpet seduction dance — but much of it plays out with just as little weight as Fantastic Beasts’ silliest moments. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Even for the Harry Potter hardcore, Crimes of Grindelwald is one convoluted movie," 8 Nov. 2018 The horizon waggled, the waves suddenly got higher. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Skip the Seasickness: How Boats Are Getting More Tech-Savvy," 28 June 2018 Instead, the Let's Go games will ask players to waggle Joy-Con controllers to simulate a Pokéball throw after happening upon creatures in their travels. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Pokémon’s first Switch game launches in November, connects to Pokémon Go," 30 May 2018 In addition, though dogs love to stick their heads out and waggle their tongues, keep the windows shut. Andrea Sachs, chicagotribune.com, "Amid safety concerns, some pet owners embrace alternatives to flying," 30 Apr. 2018 When motion control is turned on in either Splatoon game, players must waggle their hands to control all vertical-axis aiming. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Doom on Switch may have changed everything with new motion controls," 20 Feb. 2018 For instance, a study published last fall in PLOS Biology explored the reason that big brown bats waggle their heads like puppy dogs and curl the tips of their ears down. Jason Bittel, Smithsonian, "This Echolocating Dormouse Could Reveal the Origins of One of Nature’s Coolest Superpowers," 23 Mar. 2017 A flock of young men in gingham hailed from The American Conservative; hip-looking Manhattanites slouched in their seats; Orthodox priests, wearing dark robes and heavy crosses, waggled their beards in groups. Josh Rothman, The New Yorker, "Rod Dreher’s Monastic Vision," 21 Apr. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Aside from dropping a bat waggle in between his setup and his swing, there have been no major or notable changes to his stance. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "Why the Piping Hot Mookie Betts Is One of Baseball's Very Best Players," 8 May 2018 If there weren’t the V-8 for comparison, the V-6 would feel punchy enough, and in sport plus mode the rear-drive waggles under that combined 350 pound-feet of torque. Robert Duffer, chicagotribune.com, "2018 Lexus LC500h review: How to neuter a sports car into a hybrid," 27 Mar. 2018 The right-handed-hitting Acuna has no extraneous movement, no bat waggle, no hip action. Ray Glier, USA TODAY, "Minor League Player of the Year: Braves prospect Ronald Acuna improves at every level," 6 Sep. 2017 And considering the physical effort bees exert — from the waggle dance that communicates the location of a food source to the forceful beating of wings — Segura had a unique physicality to inform her choreography. Marcia Manna, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Inspired by bees choreographer Lara Segura hopes to educate people about local colonies," 10 Aug. 2017 There might be a brief nod or a tiny waggle of fingers to an adoring spectator, but little else. Sam Borden, New York Times, "England’s Andrew Johnston Is an Obscure Figure With an Unforgettable Presence," 16 July 2016 Beset by these seemingly involuntary waggles, as they were known, Garcia appeared fussy and nervous. Ian Crouch, The New Yorker, "Sergio Garcia’s Triumph of Persistence," 10 Apr. 2017 Did Groucho’s eyebrow waggles and those brothers working in insane sync influence my dim view of Carmelo Anthony’s tendency to play isolation hoops? Michael Powell, New York Times, "Phil Jackson’s Role for a Night: Film Critic," 11 Nov. 2016

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


1588, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


circa 1866, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for waggle


frequentative of wag entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near waggle





waggle dance



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Time Traveler for waggle

The first known use of waggle was in 1588

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More Definitions for waggle



English Language Learners Definition of waggle

: to move up and down or from side to side repeatedly


wag·​gle | \ ˈwa-gəl How to pronounce waggle (audio) \
waggled; waggling

Kids Definition of waggle

: to move backward and forward, from side to side, or up and down

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More from Merriam-Webster on waggle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with waggle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for waggle

Spanish Central: Translation of waggle

Nglish: Translation of waggle for Spanish Speakers

Comments on waggle

What made you want to look up waggle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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