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 Prospect watch Right-hander Matt Manning worked the eighth inning and wiggled out of trouble. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers observations: Matthew Boyd sharp vs. Yankees, unlike his teammates," 29 Feb. 2020 And partly because of the students, but mostly because of the teachers, who have been known to wiggle their ears, stick out their tongues and turn kids into apples. Angela Haupt, Washington Post, "Louis Sachar returns to wacky Wayside School more than 40 years after ‘Sideways Stories’," 26 Feb. 2020 The Trump administration has long claimed that Beijing has wiggled out of past promises to reform its predatory trade practices. Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner, "Key phase two goal of US-China trade talks is explaining what's in phase one," 9 Jan. 2020 Last year, Olympic snowboarding star Shaun White savagely shaded a fellow flyer in a quick Instagram video of the passenger behind him wiggling her toes over his head. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "'Disgusting': Plane passenger dangles dirty feet above woman's face in cringeworthy photo," 13 Nov. 2019 The right-hander held Washington to one run on four hits across 62/3 innings, wiggling free from jams in the fifth and sixth. Jorge Castillo, Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers’ season comes to a stunning end in 10th-inning loss to Nationals," 10 Oct. 2019 Luck said, pretending to wiggle a tooth with his right hand. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Luck's health, love affair between Colts and fans steal show from training camp," 25 July 2019 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. Lauran Neergaard, The Seattle Times, "Implant, intense rehab help 3 paralyzed for years take steps," 24 Sep. 2018 Try also wiggling/inspecting the headlamp connector; if headlamp performance improves, a bad connection exists there. Brad Bergholdt, chicagotribune.com, "Under the Hood: Upgrading headlamps to LED bulbs sounds great but can pose problems," 1 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 This cute little critter has a trunk, ears, and tail that wiggle, jiggle, and dance around, and kids can teach her tricks and play a bunch of interactive games too. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, "These are the tech holiday gifts that pay for themselves (in saved money, time and sanity)," 8 Dec. 2019 The locks do not slip, wiggle, or corrode and can be easily operated and adjusted. Andrew Skurka, Outside Online, "Long-Term Review: Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork," 26 Feb. 2020 But there’s also speed, agility, elusiveness, length and the wiggle to make would-be tacklers miss in a phone booth. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Joe Burrow, Chase Young among the 10 college football players with rising NFL draft stock," 27 Nov. 2019 With a little side-to-side wiggle, the pit is pulled away from the flesh and you’re left with two peach halves and no pit. Jean Kressy, BostonGlobe.com, "Peachster makes pitting peaches easy," 13 Aug. 2019 Every woman tried on at least six different bra brands and did the lift, wiggle, and adjustment test for each design. Kathryn Wirsing, Marie Claire, "Strapless Bras That Exceeded Our Expectations," 7 Nov. 2019 The Saints rookie also had a 78-yard touchdown in the preseason against the Jets, showcasing impressive burst and wiggle. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "5 takeaways from Bears coordinators Thursday, including playing without ‘alpha’ Akiem Hicks, payments in ‘Chuck Bucks’ and a tough Saints defensive front," 17 Oct. 2019 Looking beyond the wiggles Fan and his colleagues are hoping to continue the hunt for the mechanism behind the curious temblors. National Geographic, "New seismic phenomenon discovered, named stormquakes," 16 Oct. 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.

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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 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wiggle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wiggle. Accessed 30 Mar. 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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