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 In that warm, wiggling cocoon, what could possibly go wrong? Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "The Techlash Comes to Milan. So Does the Coronavirus Fear.," 23 Feb. 2020 In string theory, one considers tiny strings that wiggle and evolve in time. Quanta Magazine, "A Unified Theory of Randomness," 2 Aug. 2016 My own experience with nitrous came at the very end of my labor, after about a dozen drug-free hours of pacing hospital halls, bouncing on balls and wiggling my hips in a figure eight to make the baby’s head dance out from behind my pelvic bone. Sarah Baird, New York Times, "The Rise of Laughing Gas in the Delivery Room," 15 Apr. 2020 This silicone upgrade to the San Juan Worm is all but irresistible, wiggling in response to the slightest movement of the water. Morgan Lyle, Field & Stream, "9 Simple Flies for Catching Early-Season Trout," 30 Mar. 2020 The instructor wiggled his finger side to side—non, non, non. Bill Buford, The New Yorker, "Mastering the Art of Making a French Omelette," 18 Apr. 2020 Yuknavitch often wiggles into those dark spaces so many of us prefer to avoid. Jane Ratcliffe, Longreads, "“The Anger of Women is an Earth-shattering Thing”: Lidia Yuknavitch on Resisting the Hero Narrative and the Body as a Generator of Stories.," 14 Mar. 2020 Smith-Schuster delivered a stiff-arm to Humphrey’s face mask and wiggled out of his grasp, on his way to a 35-yard touchdown to cut the Ravens’ lead to 10-7. Daniel Oyefusi, baltimoresun.com, "Marlon Humphrey’s punch-out: Ravens cornerback’s game-changing forced fumble result of practice and instincts," 6 Oct. 2019 Here are 2 favorite ways to hard-cook eggs Place eggs in a saucepan that gives them room to wiggle a bit. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "How to make perfect hard-boiled eggs for Easter," 10 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The lures run straight and true with a lifelike wiggle and are ideal for trolling. Bob Mcnally, Field & Stream, "The 9 Best Crappie Lures Ever Made," 22 May 2020 Permanent dye works by opening the outer layer of the hair shaft, giving lifters like peroxide the chance to get inside and remove natural pigment before molecules of new color wiggle in—a process that can fry your locks. Popular Science, "The 100 greatest innovations of 2019," 3 Dec. 2019 Freshman receiver Giles Jackson displayed some wiggle at kick returner, with three returns for 76 yards and a long of 34. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football goes with freshman Zach Charbonnet as No. 1 RB. He shows why," 1 Sep. 2019 Plus there is some unsuspected wiggle in his step after the catch. cleveland, "NFL Draft 2020: Identifying the Browns’ ‘guys’: Late-round offensive steals who fit Kevin Stefanski’s system," 16 Apr. 2020 Instead, the ensemble is dressed in head-to-toe athleisure; sports bras, tank tops, and track pants replace tea-length wiggle dresses. Maxwell Losgar, Marie Claire, "Costume Designer An D’Huys on Creating West Side Story’s Contemporary Look," 6 Mar. 2020 The kids wave bright balloons and wiggle to a cheery tune. Arwa Damon And Gul Tuysuz, CNN, "No can protect these Syrian kids from the bombs. This group is at least trying to give them the skills to cope," 11 Mar. 2020 There is talent and speed and wiggle in the next wave of receivers, and spring can tell us how much polish there is and how deep the rotation is likely to go. Eric Hansen, Indianapolis Star, "Analysis: What are the real concerns as Notre Dame football opens spring practice," 3 Mar. 2020 In a slew of papers published this week in the journals Nature Geoscience and Nature Communication, researchers report on the geologic conditions that make the Red Planet wiggle, quiver, and shake. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Mars Sure Is Quakin'," 25 Feb. 2020

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

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wiggle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wiggle. Accessed 29 May. 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

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