\ˈzig \

Definition of zig 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one of the sharp turns, angles, or alterations in a zigzag course

b : one of the short straight lines or sections of a zigzag course at an angle to a zag

2 : a sharp alteration or change of direction (as in a process or policy) the quick zigs and zags of his international maneuveringsThe New York Times


zigged; zigging

Definition of zig (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to execute a zig usually contrasted with zag zigs when others zag

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Synonyms & Antonyms for zig

Synonyms: Verb

break, cut, sheer, swerve, veer, yaw, zag

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of zig in a Sentence


the fox zigged to the right, and the hounds followed

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Run around my office screaming zig a zig ah at random people? Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "The Spice Girls Are Reportedly Reuniting for a U.S and U.K. Tour," 7 Feb. 2018 The episodic, zig-zagging, fable-like plot of Volcano will not appeal to all tastes, and some of the local references inevitably get lost in translation. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Volcano': Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 13 July 2018 Turn up the heat with spicy cashews and a zig-zag of Sriracha mayo. Sarah Gish, kansascity, "Freestyle Poké: 5 things to know about River Market's popular Hawaiian-style cafe," 2 July 2018 And that’s not even factoring in the impossible-to-follow zig-zags of President Donald Trump, who has made hard-line immigration policy the cornerstone of his administration. Michael Smolens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Immigration reform seems impossible now ... and forever?," 1 July 2018 As the fixations grow along with the zig-zags of regressions, the screen fills with purple. Lisa Wood Shapiro, WIRED, "The End of Dyslexia," 18 June 2018 Those larvae then devour the wood, their zig-zag feeding patterns clearly delineated. Frank Fitzpatrick, Philly.com, "Ashes of an industry: A Pennsylvania tradition is dying, one baseball bat at a time," 14 June 2018 Dogs leapt and twisted to snatch Frisbees out of the air, zig-zagged in head-to-head weave pole races, ran agility courses, bounded over hurdles scaled to Jack Russell terriers and bolted off a dock into a 19,000-gallon swimming pool. Daily Pilot Staff, latimes.com, "Canine competitors demonstrate athletic prowess at Incredible Dog Challenge," 9 June 2018 Poulin wears a zig-zag scar, ear to ear across the top of his head, but never thought of giving up either. Dom Amore, courant.com, "NCAA Baseball: UConn's P.J. Poulin, Chris Winkel Overcame Serious Head Injuries To Stay In The Game," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But the best streetwear brands zig when everyone else zags—so, naturally, the third drop from their spring/summer collection has perfect-for-summer suits, ultra-luxe takes on graphic tees and gym shorts, and must-wear footwear that isn’t sneakers. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "Five Essential Menswear Drops to Shop This Weekend," 18 May 2018 Most of the trenches that zig zagged throughout this landscape were filled in and plowed over after the war. Nick Stockton, WIRED, "Laser-Shooting Planes Uncover the Horror and Humanity of World War I," 9 July 2018 Jamison relates her life in fits and starts, zig-zagging from her time at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop to her freshman year at Harvard to her graduate study at Yale. Daphne Merkin, The New Republic, "How Leslie Jamison rejected the link between creativity and alcoholism," 5 July 2018 When the ceremony concluded, people flooded to the mural to leave flowers, zig zagging up the walkway as flowers filled up available space on ledges and were threaded through railings. Corlyn Voorhees, OregonLive.com, "Portland marks MAX attack anniversary with ceremony, mural dedication," 26 May 2018 The Backstreet Boys recently made their concert really, really, really wanna zig-a-zig-ah. Karen Mizoguchi, PEOPLE.com, "#SpiceBoys! Backstreet Boys Transform Into Their Favorite Spice Girls Alter Egos During Concert," 8 May 2018 There also would be a planter bed installed at Downer Place to match a rain garden recently built at the Galena Boulevard end, and zig-zag white lights installed the length of the mall, about 20 feet off the ground. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora panel recommends renovations for Water Street Mall," 28 Mar. 2018 The singer/actress threw it way back this Thursday with a photo of herself from 1999 going for a particularly interesting look featuring the '90s trifecta: zig-zag part, peacock tendrils, and hair crystals. Melissa Minton, Allure, "Mandy Moore Had the Most '90s Hairstyle Ever," 3 May 2018 This wouldn’t be the first time Tesla’s mature competitors zig while the Silicon Valley upstart zags. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Testy Tesla, Spotify Tumble, Soybean Switch: CEO Daily for May 3, 2018," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zig.' 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 zig


1840, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1940, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zig



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Time Traveler for zig

The first known use of zig was in 1840

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Comments on zig

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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