\ ˈzig How to pronounce zig (audio) \

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 zagzigs when others zag

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Synonyms & Antonyms for zig

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of zig in a Sentence

Verb the fox zigged to the right, and the hounds followed
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The zig-zag trading followed up on earlier losses for Asian and European stocks, while Treasury yields sank in a sign of increased pessimism. Stan Choe, Damian J. Troise, Alex Veiga, USA TODAY, "Dow: Stock market rallies back from early drop on Thursday," 14 May 2020 The zig-zag path of the Blue Angels covered much of Dallas and Tarrant counties, allowing the jets to fly low over many of the area’s hospitals, including at least three in Arlington. Dallas News, "‘Every little thing helps’ as Arlington hospital workers take a break for Blue Angels flyover," 6 May 2020 The guidelines recommend that people minimize time spent in restaurants and cafes, sit at least 1 meter from other patrons, and sit in a row or in a zig-zag to avoid directly facing each other. Mary Hui, Quartz, "South Korea’s plan for the “new normal” shows that social distancing is here to stay," 23 Apr. 2020 Even if everything else is neutral, a statement rug can completely transform the room—from the bright green BREDEVAD with a zig-zag pattern, to the burgundy VEDBÄK with a traditional floral print, to the pastel-striped SOMMAR 2020. Jessica Dailey, House Beautiful, "How to Use Color to Breathe New Life Into Your Kitchen," 3 Apr. 2020 Rearranging lunch tables so students sit in a zig zag rather that adjacent to each other is also being taken into consideration. NBC News, "South Korea's return to normal interrupted by uptick in coronavirus cases," 17 Mar. 2020 What makes the movie more than a clever parlor trick is that every narrative zig and zag turns out to be motivated by an underlying moral logic, a belief in some semblance of law and order in a world of unfettered criminality. Los Angeles Times, "Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,’ the haunting work of a filmmaker running out of time," 26 July 2019 Many affordable housing advocates say NIMBYism contributes to rising housing costs, so Carson’s support of YIMBY-ism is a both a zig and a zag. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "HUD won one court battle, lost another under Ben Carson in 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 This from the man who blames previous administrations, China, and pretty much anything but the mirror for his own administration’s lack of preparation or current zig-zag approach to this disaster? Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, "Mitch Albom: Hey, President Trump: Her name is Gretchen Whitmer," 29 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Buses are expected to be half full to make room for social distancing by leaving every other seat empty and zig-zagging across the aisle. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Unusual summer at Denali National Park will include private drivers and guided caravans," 28 May 2020 So the women’s journey took them not across the Florida Strait but down to South America, across that continent at its widest point, up the Pacific Coast to Panama, then zig-zagging north to the U.S. border. Karl Vick, Time, "Where Three Women's Journey from Cuba to America Left Them," 18 Oct. 2019 Then the vehicle began to zig-zag between the eastbound lanes and a common turn lane. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland, "Driver pulls in front of police cruiser, cited for OVI: North Olmsted Police Blotter," 11 Apr. 2020 Daniele's Diamond DA42 twin-engine turbo prop plane lifted off from the Rochester airport headed south, flew counter-clockwise around the community then zig-zagged across the city. Brian Sharp, USA TODAY, "New York priest drops holy water on city from plane 'to tell the people they are not alone'," 22 Mar. 2020 Also, bettors should be willing to zig against the conventional-wisdom zag of the idea of defense not winning championships in the playoff era. Skip Snow, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "National Football Championship: LSU vs. Clemson odds, picks and best bets," 10 Jan. 2020 The 49ers’ ability to zig or zag was best illustrated in their 36-26 win over Arizona in November, which was the last 49ers’ game Johnston broadcast. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, "Doing it like Dallas: Ex-Cowboy praises 49ers’ offensive versatility," 11 Dec. 2019 Even after that ruling was changed, many local schools refused to schedule games with the program, forcing hours-long bus trips zig-zagging across the state to find willing opponents. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Crispus Attucks basketball legends speaking at IPL's Center for Black Literature and Culture," 17 Oct. 2019 Thinking outside the box, knowing when to zig, and when to zag. Los Angeles Times, "Racing! Omaha Beach wows in return," 6 Oct. 2019

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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Statistics for zig

Last Updated

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Zig.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zig. Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zig

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