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

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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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 2017, the local League of Women Voters organized a 5 K run-walk along parts of the line between the 10th and 11th districts in an effort to underscore what the group saw as its ludicrous zigzags. Richard Fausset, New York Times, "With No Supreme Court End to Gerrymandering, Will States Make It More Extreme?," 28 June 2019 In this way, a series of triangulation points could be mapped, and the van could proceed to the satellite by a zigzag path, stopping every twenty miles to correct any error. David Canfield, EW.com, "First Look: The Andromeda Strain is back with a new look for its 50th anniversary," 26 June 2019 To the north, where the facade meets Milan’s skyline and becomes mostly glass, cantilevering over the street, the block breaks into a zigzag of shifting floor plates, rectangles and trapezoids, the whole building wedged onto a triangular plot. Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, "Shape-Shifting Art Tower Completes Prada’s City Within a City," 15 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The ship had in fact been zigzagging during daylight, but after darkness fell the captain deemed such maneuvering unnecessary. Walter R. Borneman, WSJ, "‘Indianapolis’ Review: Supreme Sacrifice," 30 Aug. 2018 That, and a word-drunk poetry that zigzags between extreme, giddy feelings of power and powerlessness. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Dancing to Destruction in Enda Walsh’s Fierce ‘Disco Pigs’," 10 Jan. 2018 At Bhalswa, a steady flow of jeeps zigzag up the trash heap dumping their garbage, as hawks circle overhead. Helen Regan And Omar Khan, CNN, "India's trash mountains are a fetid symbol of the country's plastic problem," 7 June 2019 Since he was tagged in February, Brunswick has zigzagged his way up the coast. Lillian Reed, baltimoresun.com, "Great white shark detected near Ocean City," 3 June 2019 Their variables zigzag wildly through space and time, creating a mathematician’s nightmare, a corner, at every point; worse still, to solve the equations, the infinite sharpness of those corners must somehow be multiplied and otherwise manipulated. Quanta Magazine, "In Noisy Equations, One Who Heard Music," 12 Aug. 2014 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

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.

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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

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Statistics for zigzag

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for zigzag

The first known use of zigzag was in 1712

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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

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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

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