wig·​gle | \ ˈwi-gəl How to pronounce wiggle (audio) \
wiggled; wiggling\ ˈwi-​g(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce wiggle (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 wiggle (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 Your dog will need to use her paws, snout, and mind to wiggle these squeaky, plush chipmunks out of their log. Hannah Harper, Health.com, "These Are the Best Puzzle Toys To Keep Your Pet’s Brain Sharp," 14 May 2021 But Willis was forced to wiggle out of several jams, as the Lady Eagles put multiple runners on in the second, third, fifth and sixth innings before finally breaking through in the seventh. Dallas News, "Playoff softball playoff roundup: Prosper escapes against Denton Guyer, Hallsville snaps Royse City’s 16 game win streak," 13 May 2021 The result is a sauce that requires a bit of muscle to wiggle your spoon through the tangle of crispy shallots, garlic and chile in the jar. Jenn Harris Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "L.A. is in the middle of a chile sauce craze. 16 to try now," 21 Apr. 2021 The dancers, wearing black skullcaps, white masks and red clown noses, wiggle their hips and shake their arms like elephant's trunks while reflecting the hurly-burly of a circus. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Ballet's 'Re.Gen' brings back hits from 'Genesis' competition for live and online audiences," 23 Apr. 2021 If working with an edger, use your foot to press it into the ground and wiggle back and forth a few times. Arricca Elin Sansone, House Beautiful, "How to Edge Your Lawn for a Professional, Manicured Look," 13 Apr. 2021 Together, the sibs cache their food, hiding worms and crickets (which eventually wiggle or crawl away) and seeds and food chunks in the mulch of the Australasia exhibit in Wings of the World. Terry Demio, The Enquirer, "Han Solo, Vader and Luke are rare brothers who live their best lives at the Cincinnati Zoo," 10 Apr. 2021 How to: Step inside the band with both feet, and wiggle the band with your fingers up around your shin bones directly underneath your knee. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, "The best resistance bands of 2021 — and a 30-day workout plan to put them to work," 1 Feb. 2019 But Percy can drill, and Ingenuity can wiggle its blades. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "No, You’re Crying About a Helicopter on Mars," 19 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Turnip the tortoise can't help but give a little wiggle during her shower. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for May 14: Covid-19, US policing, immigration, Afghanistan, Tigray," 14 May 2021 This gave the Fed lots more wiggle-room to engage in expansive, and unnecessary, credit allocation, picking winners and losers in the financial system. Alexander William Salter, National Review, "There’s No Need to Panic over Inflation," 14 May 2021 Junior Roschon Johnson has evolved from a emergency backfield plug into a rugged runner with timely wiggle. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "2021 Texas football status report: Running backs," 13 May 2021 Toney has strong legs and more than enough wiggle to break numerous tackles. Rob Reischel, Forbes, "Could Kadarius Toney Be The Green Bay Packers’ Missing Link At Wide Receiver?," 16 Apr. 2021 The 5-foot-10, 219-pound Mr. Football from New Palestine has also shown some wiggle. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "Deland McCullough takes command of IU’S running back room again," 9 Apr. 2021 After some preflight checks— including a wiggle of its rotor blades—the flight tests must begin. Jamie Carter, Forbes, "Mars Helicopter: How To Follow Online This Week As NASA’s $80 Million ‘Ingenuity’ Drone Attempts Unique Flight," 5 Apr. 2021 Just dip your baby’s body part into the wiggle-proof, non-allergenic molding powder for 45 seconds, remove, then fill it with casting stone. Popular Science, "The best mom gifts for Mother’s Day 2021," 8 Mar. 2021 With a jiggle and a wiggle, proteins move through a layer of lipids similar to the membrane of a living cell. Scientific American, "Shake, Rattle and React: Proteins Dance across a Membrane," 8 July 2012

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

16 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wiggle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wiggle. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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 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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