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 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 But some federal involvement may be hard to wiggle out of, said Dr. Marcus Plescia, medical director of the Assn. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, "Q&A: What are vaccine passports, and why do some people hate them so much?," 13 Apr. 2021 Place eggs in a saucepan that gives them room to wiggle a bit. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "2 ways to make perfect hard-boiled eggs," 2 Apr. 2021 The researchers compared the C. elegans’ reactions to toxic blue bacteria, toxic beige bacteria and safe blue bacteria, and found that the combination of blue color and toxicity has the greatest impact on the worms’ decision to wiggle away. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "These Worms Have No Eyes, but They Avoid the Color Blue," 8 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 The rover’s wheels are a little crooked, but engineers plan to command the rover to do a little wiggle and straighten them out. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "Mars Has Never Felt Closer to Home," 23 Feb. 2021 The wax will cling and congeal around the cardboard holder and come out in one wiggle. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Send a letter to your future self," 21 Jan. 2021 Always blessed with game-breaking speed and wiggle without a clear position, the Alabama native evolved into a complete and dominant wide receiver. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Kadarius Toney, Trevon Grimes among 4 Gators out for Cotton Bowl," 28 Dec. 2020 Master Teague, who had emerged as a solid lead back without much wiggle, sat for most of that game after taking a hit. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Where Ohio State and Clemson are better and worse than a year ago: Doug Lesmerises," 25 Dec. 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

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wiggle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wiggle. Accessed 7 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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Comments on wiggle

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