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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from wiggle


wiggly \ ˈwi-​g(ə-​)lē How to pronounce wiggly (audio) \ adjective

Examples of wiggle in a Sentence


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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Moog slithers through your ear, wiggling to the beat in a way that seems to defy physics. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "Is America ready for a Colonel Sanders computer game?," 16 Sep. 2019 Insect legs were wiggling from one of her eye sockets. oregonlive, "Doctors find 4 bees living in woman’s eye, feeding off her tears," 10 Apr. 2019 But, yeah, to just get into the open field and wiggle a little bit, get tackled. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Gophers’ Rodney Smith starting to look like his old self. But red mohawk is new.," 4 Sep. 2019 Once laid, some eggs are sent away for incubation and replaced by smart fakes, which wiggle and cheep so that the mother is primed for her hatchling’s return. The Economist, "How eugenics is saving a pudgy parrot," 29 Aug. 2019 With one out and Matt Barnes warming up, Eovaldi wiggled out of trouble when Matt Thaiss grounded into a double play. Julian Mcwilliams, BostonGlobe.com, "J.D. Martinez powers Red Sox past Angels," 9 Aug. 2019 Favre wound up with the Jets, played a year there, then wiggled free from his deal and landed with … the Vikings. Albert Breer, SI.com, "Eye-Opening Weekend: Lamar Jackson, Sammy Watkins, Dak Prescott and the Pats Light It Up," 9 Sep. 2019 Knot Zoos in the Lab To mathematicians, a knot means something like an ordinary knot tied in string, only the string’s ends are then attached so that the tangle can’t wiggle loose. Quanta Magazine, "Scientists Learn the Ropes on Tying Molecular Knots," 29 Oct. 2018 The Rays, again getting by on their wits and wiggling into playoff contention by winning more with less this season, came out of a pendulous game with a victory in their typically untypical fashion. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Rays take see-saw battle from Astros to avoid sweep," 29 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The heatwave was the result of a wiggle in the Jetstream helping pull air from North Africa across France and toward Scandinavia. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Another European heatwave, another link to climate change," 3 Aug. 2019 Needs to develop strength and put on some weight. Slasher with elusiveness and wiggle. oregonlive, "Recruiting: Oregon Ducks basketball hosting 2 of nation’s top 8 prospects this weekend," 12 Sep. 2019 Dixon made a strong case for a season-opening roster spot Thursday, rushing 13 times for 66 yards (5.1 yards per carry) and showing good burst and wiggle. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "Final Ravens 53-man roster projection: Finding space for Jaleel Scott, Patrick Mekari and more," 30 Aug. 2019 What looked like a back-and-forth wiggle in 2D now appears more like a corkscrew motion. Scientific American, "Nanomachines, Jellyfish Hugs and Hurricane Dorian From Space: The Week's Best Science GIFs," 30 Aug. 2019 Running back Josh Jacobs showed the ability for some inside wiggle on an inside run period. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "Raiders’ Gabe Jackson out approximately two months with MCL injury," 8 Aug. 2019 In other words, unusual atmospheric circulation patterns would start the wiggle in the jet stream, which both brings cold air south to the mid-latitudes and warm air north to melt sea ice. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Tested: Idea that sea ice steadies jet stream, blocking cold winters," 12 Aug. 2019 Plus, some are situated on plazas, which provide a little bit more room for photo opportunities and getting the wiggles out of little legs. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Downtown Milwaukee is more than just buildings and museums. Here's where your kids can play outside.," 26 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wiggle

Dictionary Entries near wiggle





wiggle nail


wiggle room

Statistics for wiggle

Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wiggle

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!