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


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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At the farmers market, the cute-o-meter is off the charts with wiggling fur bundles causing human traffic jams. Cathy Barrow, The Seattle Times, "I bake for dogs, and they eat it up: recipes for DIY dog biscuits," 23 July 2018 Four years ago, Harkema's team made headlines when a few patients implanted with spinal stimulators — originally developed to treat pain — were able to wiggle their toes, move their legs and briefly stand. Fox News, "Paralyzed patients take first steps after implant, intense rehab," 25 Sep. 2018 These fierce, wise old queens are just doing their thing, wiggling around still in the Tasmanian temperate rain forest. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Get a grip on the natural world with this beautiful manual for the planet," 15 Sep. 2018 In a free electron laser, blobs of electrons are shot through a series of magnets, called an undulator, that make the electrons wiggle or spiral. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Single-beam laser becomes multi-beam laser by kicking electrons," 5 Dec. 2018 As Kim squealed and wiggled away, the crowd of about 3,000 cheered. Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, "Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte kissed a random woman on the mouth in front of a crowd," 4 June 2018 The Aggies didn’t go away easily and cut the deficit to one point (59-58) when Dickerson wiggled free for a dunk. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "Noah Dickerson posts impressive double-double as Huskies top Texas A&M 71-67," 20 Nov. 2018 Toddlers could walk down residential lanes which had barriers installed on either end, forcing vehicles to wiggle slowly through a narrow gate to access the street. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "How traveling abroad with kids showed me how to fix U.S. transit," 14 Sep. 2018 Remove the lid and check the doneness of the meat by wiggling the leg and noticing its flexibility at the thigh joint. Gabrielle Hamilton, House Beautiful, "Gabrielle Hamilton's Braised Chicken Legs with Shallots and Vinegar," 22 Feb. 2013

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The ceramic composite brakes haul the car down for the next slow left-hander with no fade, no drama, no tail-wiggle. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Driving the Porsche GT3 RS and GT2 RS, the New Quickest Production Cars," 5 Apr. 2019 Somehow her exquisite waist-cinching sequined bodysuits and wiggle skirts seem at odds with the current generation of social media-savvy content creators. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Violet Chachki’s New YouTube Series Is a Goldmine for ’90s Fashion Nerds," 20 Mar. 2019 There may be a bit of horizontal wiggle in back as the car picks up speed, so make sure your hands are at 10 and two and your eyes are looking down the road. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Nine things I learned from driving a supercar for three days," 9 Nov. 2018 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

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

26 May 2019

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 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

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

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