zigzag

noun
zig·​zag | \ ˈzig-ˌzag How to pronounce zigzag (audio) \

Definition of zigzag

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: one of a series of short sharp turns, angles, or alterations in a course also : something having the form or character of such a series a blouse with green zigzags endured the zigzags of policy — Richard Bernstein

zigzag

adverb

Definition of zigzag (Entry 2 of 4)

: in or by a zigzag path or course

zigzag

adjective

Definition of zigzag (Entry 3 of 4)

: having short sharp turns or angles a zigzag trail

zigzag

verb
zigzagged; zigzagging

Definition of zigzag (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

: to form into a zigzag or move along a zigzag course

intransitive verb

: to lie in, proceed along, or consist of a zigzag course

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from zigzag

Noun

zigzaggy \ ˈzig-​ˌza-​gē How to pronounce zigzaggy (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for zigzag

Synonyms: Verb

dodge, duck, jink, sidestep, slalom, weave

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of zigzag in a Sentence

Noun

The kids were running in circles and zigzags around the yard. He's wearing a shirt with red zigzags on it.

Verb

We saw a motorcycle zigzagging on the highway. The player with the ball zigzagged back and forth down the field. A dirt road zigzags up the steep hill to our cabin.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The zigzag motif was handled sublimely on a gray creation with knife pleating that looked like a human had mated with a jellyfish. Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "Dior celebrates the atelier, draws celebs to Paris couture," 2 July 2018 Among the occupants of the site: a McDonald’s, a dental clinic, and a bank with a curious zigzag of a roof. Lesley M.m. Blume, Town & Country, "Inside Frank Gehry's Overhaul of Garden of Allah, L.A.’s Most Infamous Corner," 25 Feb. 2019 Photos and video published by CNA and by witnesses on Facebook show the train’s white and red carriages splayed out in a zigzag pattern along a bend in the track. Josh Chin, WSJ, "Taiwanese Passenger Train Derailment Kills 18," 22 Oct. 2018 Emily Evans Eerdmans: The first thing that jumped out at me is the jazzy zigzag in the living room. Emily Evans Eerdmans, House Beautiful, "Designer Christina Murphy on Decorating a Colorful Park Avenue Apartment," 6 May 2012 Analysts said the decision to exclude China is another zigzag in the Trump administration's relations with Beijing, which has veered from controversy to accommodation, sometimes day by day. David S. Cloud, latimes.com, "Pentagon bars China from joining naval exercise in the Pacific," 23 May 2018 Photo: Alice Gao High Style A zigzag-shape island from Belgium kitchen manufacturer Obumex has light-reflecting bands of solid copper or brass, brushed oak cabinetry and a black lava-stone countertop. Karen Bruno, WSJ, "Kitchen Islands Emerge as Luxury Home Must-Have," 5 July 2018 The Los Angeles Conservancy, which sued over the 229-unit project, had argued that 8150 Sunset could be designed in a way that preserves the bank building, known for its zigzag roof and other features. David Zahniser, latimes.com, "Court OKs demolition of Hollywood building for Frank Gehry project, dealing a blow to preservationists," 28 Mar. 2018 The mood was solemn and subdued as those in attendance filed peacefully through a zigzag of stanchions filling the center floor. New York Times, "XXXTentacion Is Mourned by Thousands at a Memorial in Florida," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Colombia’s Egan Bernal proved his worth — and more — by working as a trailblazer for Sky teammates Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome up the zigzagging ascent of Alpe d’Huez. Joseph Wilson, The Seattle Times, "Colombia’s Egan Bernal is the Tour de France’s budding star," 23 July 2018 Now visitors had to zigzag back and forth through a 520-meter maze—20 more meters than the legal requirement—to order a drink. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "Pass Through a Maze to Enter This Bar in India? Challenge Accepted," 16 July 2018 Simplified, zigzag images of lightning are also culturally ingrained (think of the lightning emoji or the common symbol for electricity). Steph Yin, New York Times, "Do You Know What Lightning Really Looks Like?," 11 June 2018 For example, someone may see flashing light or zigzag lines or feel pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg, Dr. Green says. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "8 Myths People With Migraines Wish You’d Stop Believing," 23 Oct. 2018 Outside the conference room, a pre–Fashion Week scene unfolds: iPhone alarms are ringing unchecked, staffers are zigzagging about. Nick Remsen, Vogue, "Before Her Official London Fashion Week Debut, Alexa Chung Gets Candid About Her Past, Her Business, and Her Transatlantic Homecoming," 14 Sep. 2018 Start at the bottom, stringing your lights by zigzagging them through the tree in quadrants, section by section, versus around the tree. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Here's How to Hang Christmas Lights on Your Tree," 8 Dec. 2017 Made from narrow, zigzagged raffia tape, this mega-hat is easy to pin or scrunch back, so the face is visible and less communal space is taken. Linda Dyett, The Seattle Times, "Hats are big this summer. Really, really big," 16 Aug. 2018 Choose from one of the courses developed for children that include tunnels, zigzag bridges and swinging logs with zip-lining at the end. Colleen Creamer, New York Times, "36 Hours in Chattanooga," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zigzag.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of zigzag

Noun

1712, in the meaning defined above

Adverb

circa 1730, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1750, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1777, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for zigzag

Noun

French

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about zigzag

Statistics for zigzag

Last Updated

9 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for zigzag

The first known use of zigzag was in 1712

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for zigzag

zigzag

noun

English Language Learners Definition of zigzag

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a line that has a series of short, sharp turns or angles

zigzag

verb

English Language Learners Definition of zigzag (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move along a path that has a series of short, sharp turns or angles

zigzag

noun
zig·​zag | \ ˈzig-ˌzag How to pronounce zigzag (audio) \

Kids Definition of zigzag

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : one of a series of short sharp turns or angles in a line or course
2 : a line, path, or pattern with a series of short sharp angles

zigzag

adverb

Kids Definition of zigzag (Entry 2 of 4)

: in or by a line or course that has short sharp turns or angles He ran zigzag across the field.

zigzag

adjective

Kids Definition of zigzag (Entry 3 of 4)

: having short sharp turns or angles

zigzag

verb
zigzagged; zigzagging

Kids Definition of zigzag (Entry 4 of 4)

: to form into or move along a line or course that has short sharp turns or angles Both kids took off, zigzagging around trees and bushes.— Blue Balliett, Chasing Vermeer

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on zigzag

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zigzag

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zigzag

Spanish Central: Translation of zigzag

Nglish: Translation of zigzag for Spanish Speakers

Comments on zigzag

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!