wig·​gle | \ ˈwi-gəl How to pronounce wiggle (audio) \
wiggled; wiggling\ ˈwi-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce wiggling (audio) \

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 How to pronounce wiggly (audio) \ adjective

Examples of wiggle in a Sentence

Verb The puppy wiggled with excitement. the baby wiggled in her sleep
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The agreement includes language that could offer China opportunities to wiggle out of its commitments. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "What's in Trump's 'Phase One' trade deal between the U.S. and China?," 15 Jan. 2020 Given its strikingly ripple-like shape, the researchers suggest that the wave is likely in motion, its peaks and troughs destined to flip over cosmic time like a wiggling eel. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "The biggest gaseous structure in our galaxy is filled with baby star factories," 8 Jan. 2020 The Texans had New Orleans beat in Week 1 before allowing the Saints to wiggle free for an improbable win on a walk-off 58-yard field goal. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Chargers hope to clean up mistakes from last week when they host the Texans," 21 Sep. 2019 Con: Can wear out, causing the blade to wiggle when deployed. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "8 Great Pocket Knives to Keep on You Every Day," 18 Sep. 2019 Baserunners were present in each appearance, but James discovered a way to wiggle out of jams. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros struggle against A's for second straight night," 11 Sep. 2019 Adding a little toe-wiggling flair, like the feet equivalent of jazz hands. Sable Yong, Allure, "I Took the Longest Flight in the World to Experience Its Built-In Wellness Center," 28 Dec. 2019 Gently wiggle the piece back and forth until the chocolate’s evenly spread beneath. Daniel Wolfe, Quartzy, "Here’s what to do with your leftover candy corn," 30 Oct. 2019 After placing a dummy on his cot, Holmes stripped to his underwear and shirt, and then wiggled into the dank shaft, illuminated by a kerosene lantern set in a niche. Frederick N. Rasmussen, baltimoresun.com, "As the Maryland Penitentiary faces demolition, a look back at a famous escape," 4 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But there’s also speed, agility, elusiveness, length and the wiggle to make would-be tacklers miss in a phone booth. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Joe Burrow, Chase Young among the 10 college football players with rising NFL draft stock," 27 Nov. 2019 With a little side-to-side wiggle, the pit is pulled away from the flesh and you’re left with two peach halves and no pit. Jean Kressy, BostonGlobe.com, "Peachster makes pitting peaches easy," 13 Aug. 2019 Every woman tried on at least six different bra brands and did the lift, wiggle, and adjustment test for each design. Kathryn Wirsing, Marie Claire, "Strapless Bras That Exceeded Our Expectations," 7 Nov. 2019 The Saints rookie also had a 78-yard touchdown in the preseason against the Jets, showcasing impressive burst and wiggle. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "5 takeaways from Bears coordinators Thursday, including playing without ‘alpha’ Akiem Hicks, payments in ‘Chuck Bucks’ and a tough Saints defensive front," 17 Oct. 2019 Looking beyond the wiggles Fan and his colleagues are hoping to continue the hunt for the mechanism behind the curious temblors. National Geographic, "New seismic phenomenon discovered, named stormquakes," 16 Oct. 2019 The team will turn to computer modeling to unify all their observations: the seismic wiggles, the currents, the calving, the snowfall and ponding meltwater. Paul Voosen, Science Magazine, "A project to monitor every aspect of a fast-shrinking glacier could hold an answer to an urgent question: How fast will seas rise?," 10 Oct. 2019 The wiggle is back, and that wasn’t (there) last year. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "Column: The Bears and Vikings have championship-caliber defenses. Mike Zimmer is catering to his. What will Matt Nagy do with Mitch Trubisky off to a slow start?," 27 Sep. 2019 All of the Celebrity Babies Who’ve Made Their Debuts in 2019 Ritter put her baby bump on display for the second time on Instagram in March, wearing a black-and-white polka-dot wiggle dress that highlighted her belly. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "Krysten Ritter Is a Mom! Actress Welcomes Son Bruce Julian Knight with Boyfriend Adam Granduciel," 8 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for wiggle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wiggle

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wiggle.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wiggle. Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for wiggle


How to pronounce wiggle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wiggle

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


wig·​gle | \ ˈwi-gəl How to pronounce wiggle (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on wiggle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wiggle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wiggle

Spanish Central: Translation of wiggle

Nglish: Translation of wiggle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wiggle for Arabic Speakers

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).


to express in a more acceptable way

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