wig·gle | \ˈwi-gəl \
wiggled; wiggling\ˈwi-g(ə-)liŋ \

Definition of wiggle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to move to and fro with quick jerky or shaking motions : jiggle

2 : to proceed with or as if with twisting and turning movements : wriggle

transitive verb

: to cause to wiggle



Definition of wiggle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of wiggling

2 : shellfish or fish in cream sauce with peas

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Other Words from wiggle


wiggly \ˈwi-g(ə-)lē \ adjective

Examples of wiggle in a Sentence


The puppy wiggled with excitement. the baby wiggled in her sleep

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Place the eggs in a saucepan that gives them room to wiggle a bit. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Here's how to steam eggs and cook potatoes for perfect potato salad," 20 June 2018 Their main purpose seems to be wiggling around as provocatively as possible for the men in the crowd, all while ignoring how many women are now in the stands. Paul Newberry, chicagotribune.com, "Time's up for cheerleaders/dancers at NFL, NBA games," 4 May 2018 That portion wiggles wildly as inflation expectations gyrate. Ken Fisher, USA TODAY, "Investors: Why you shouldn't worry that rates will rise," 10 June 2018 Duncan Robinson wiggled his fingers, as if trying to warm them up. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's Moritz Wagner wouldn't be denied in Final Four win over Loyola," 31 Mar. 2018 Ramírez wiggled out of that first-inning jam with just one run allowed and seemed to pull himself together. Peter Schmuck, baltimoresun.com, "Yankees strike back, salvage doubleheader split with 10-2 rout of Orioles," 10 July 2018 But her first priority is Dwight, who, despite his pain, still wiggled his tail when Perron and her family came to see him Monday. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Dog found covered in blood, urine and feces after fleeing fireworks," 2 July 2018 Even more in our face, his big crew of scantily clad Minions wiggled bare-arsed up and down the aisles, serving the audience complimentary food and drinks and participatory props (ping-pong balls and popcorn) to throw at one another in mock combat. Jonathan Takiff, Philly.com, "Taylor Mac outdoes Springsteen as hardest-working headliner, in audacious Merriam marathon," 4 June 2018 Mark DeLeon wiggled out of the jam by striking out Ryan Thometz and getting Melby to fly deep to center for the final out. Mike Hutton, chicagotribune.com, "The need for Reid: AJ Reid's triple for a 13-1 lead turns out to be key as Highland holds off Munster in sectional," 25 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

So was Kerryon Johnson, who runs super hard and has some wiggle for size but has durability concerns due to his upright style. Terez A. Paylor, kansascity, "Grading the 2018 NFL Draft: Chiefs fare well on Terez Paylor’s report card | The Kansas City Star," 28 Apr. 2018 Consensus: Prototype height-weight-speed prospect with wiggle, receiving chops, outstanding production and a reputation for being a great leader. Terez A. Paylor, kansascity, "Rating the top running backs in the 2018 NFL Draft, with an eye on the Chiefs' needs | The Kansas City Star," 26 Apr. 2018 And after a moment, success: The raccoon wiggles loose from the jar and begins to saunter off, video shows. Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Raccoon trapped in peanut butter jar ‘tried to thank’ cop who came to the rescue, video shows," 28 June 2018 Press the cutter into the dough and lift up with a sharp quickness without a wiggle. Sarah Fritsche, San Francisco Chronicle, "Recipe: Edna Lewis’ Lard Biscuits," 1 June 2018 Goofy, loving and high energy, Hiccup would do best in an active home that can give him plenty of time to get his wiggles out both physically and mentally. azcentral, "Rescue animals available for adoption this week in Metro Phoenix," 25 May 2018 Visitors can climb, jump, crawl and slide on the gigantic springboard, semi-circle step, the wiggle bridge, half-pipe and more. Brandon Patterson, Detroit Free Press, "3 Michigan state parks add water playgrounds for summer," 17 May 2018 Consensus: Upright running style could hurt his long-term durability, but Jones possesses elite burst and wiggle and is a home run threat who at times looks like a younger version of former Chiefs great Jamaal Charles. Terez A. Paylor, kansascity, "Live NFL Draft Tracker: Chiefs take three defensive players on Day 2 | The Kansas City Star," 27 Apr. 2018 Getting the wiggles out If your kids seem to be using your house as their playground, why not recruit one of the relatives to get them out of the house for awhile? Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A preschool teacher shares 7 great ideas to keep the kids busy during Thanksgiving prep," 15 Nov. 2017

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1816, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wiggle


Middle English wiglen, from or akin to Middle Dutch or Middle Low German wiggelen to totter; akin to Old English wegan to move — more at way

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Dictionary Entries near wiggle





wiggle nail


wiggle room

Statistics for wiggle

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wiggle

The first known use of wiggle was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for wiggle



English Language Learners Definition of wiggle

: to move up and down or from side to side with short quick motions


wig·gle | \ˈwi-gəl \
wiggled; wiggling

Kids Definition of wiggle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move up and down or from side to side with quick short motions She wiggled her toes.

2 : to proceed with twisting and turning movements It was an awful tangled mess, but … there was room for him to wiggle through …— Gary Paulsen, Hatchet



Kids Definition of wiggle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a twisting turning motion

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Comments on wiggle

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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