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

How Italic wiggled its way past luxury giants Cai comes from both the manufacturing and startup world. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "Italic sells brandless luxury goods from manufactures for Celine, Prada, and Gucci.," 15 Nov. 2018 Still, the snake doesn't bode well for your comfort when watching it wiggle up a ladder for the sake of experimentation. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "You Can't Unsee This Robot Snake Scaling a Ladder," 10 Oct. 2018 Down 87-86, Bird wiggled free for a driving layup that gave the Storm the lead for good. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "Storm outlasts Mercury in overtime to take 2-0 lead in WNBA semifinals," 28 Aug. 2018 Just wiggling the bristles deposits more than enough mascara on nearly the entire length of my lashes, and sweeping while it's closed adds noticeably more length. Allure, "I Tried a Viral Mascara Trick and It Made a Huge Difference in the Volume of My Lashes," 21 Aug. 2018 Users wiggle the flexible staff back and forth to tone arm and core muscles. USA TODAY, "The biggest exercise fad the year you were born," 12 July 2018 And at the end of the day, no one’s going to be your little hand wiggling on the page. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Get a grip on the natural world with this beautiful manual for the planet," 15 Sep. 2018 Olivia Newton-John isn’t sitting on the floor, wiggling her way into that bottom bunk. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "Roadies: Road-Tripping the U.S. With a Bus Full of Strangers," 10 Aug. 2018 Mnuchin denied that the Chinese concessions were a result of Trump’s promise to help ZTE, a Chinese telecom giant, wiggle out of U.S. sanctions after it was found to be illegally selling equipment to Iran and North Korea. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, "Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says trade war is "on hold" after progress in U.S.-China talks," 20 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Mzee’s toe wiggle was the result of months of physical training and a device that delivers pulses of electrical stimulation to Mzee’s spinal cord. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Spinal implants help treat paralysis but aren’t ready for primetime," 3 Nov. 2018 But every wiggle of the mouse or press of a button must be sent up to that server, processed, and the results sent back to your screen. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "I played Shadow of the Tomb Raider over 5G, and it didn't suck," 11 Sep. 2018 An old-style automatic locking differential typically unlocks with a bang and an unsettling wiggle in the chassis. Ben Stewart, Popular Mechanics, "How 4X4s Got So Good," 18 May 2016 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

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

8 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on wiggle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wiggle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wiggle

Spanish Central: Translation of wiggle

Nglish: Translation of wiggle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wiggle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wiggle

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to enclose within walls

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