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verb (used without object)
  1. to move about restlessly, nervously, or impatiently.
verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to fidget; make uneasy.
  1. Often fidgets. the condition or an instance of being nervously restless, uneasy, or impatient.
  2. Also fidg·et·er. a person who fidgets.

Origin of fidget

1665–75; compare dial. fidge to fidget, akin to the synonymous expressive words fitch, fig, fike; compare Old Norse fīkjast to be eager, Old Swedish fīkja to be restless
Related formsfidg·et·ing·ly, adverbun·fidg·et·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fidgeted

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In spite of being told not to do so, she bewailed her condition, and fidgeted about in her bed.


    Emile Zola

  • He fidgeted with his watch chain, colored and was evidently uneasy.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • He stepped back, coughed, fidgeted with the latch, and then began to apologize.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • He fidgeted, hesitated, and then hurried forth a labored apology.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • I fidgeted on the edge of my chair in an agony of mortified embarrassment.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for fidgeted


  1. (intr) to move about restlessly
  2. (intr often foll by with) to make restless or uneasy movements (with something); fiddlehe fidgeted with his pen
  3. (tr) to cause to fidget
  4. (tr) to cause to worry; make uneasy
  1. (often plural) a state of restlessness or unease, esp as expressed in continual motionhe's got the fidgets
  2. a person who fidgets
Derived Formsfidgetingly, adverbfidgety, adjective

Word Origin

C17: from earlier fidge, probably from Old Norse fīkjast to desire eagerly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fidgeted



1670s (implied in fidgetting); see fidget (n.). Related: Fidgeted.



1670s, as the fidget "uneasiness," later the fidgets, from a 16c. verb fidge "move restlessly," perhaps from Middle English fiken "to fidget, hasten," from Old Norse fikjask "to desire eagerly" (cf. German ficken "to move about briskly;" see fuck).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper