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[fij-it] /ˈfɪdʒ ɪt/
verb (used without object)
to move about restlessly, nervously, or impatiently.
verb (used with object)
to cause to fidget; make uneasy.
Often, fidgets. the condition or an instance of being nervously restless, uneasy, or impatient.
Also, fidgeter. 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 forms
fidgetingly, adverb
unfidgeting, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fidgeting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • After fidgeting a moment he added, "Well, I cal'late I'll have to be goin' now."

    Thankful's Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It was half-past seven when he returned and found Azuba fidgeting in the dining-room.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter Joseph C. Lincoln
  • And whichever they say I shall keep on fidgeting until I see what happens after that.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • She had set down the knitting, and was fidgeting, first with her cap and then her apron.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • Archie had been fidgeting in his chair––hardly able to command his politeness.

    Billy Topsail & Company

    Norman Duncan
  • Leofwin, who had been fidgeting around for an opening, now burst forth.

    Tutors' Lane Wilmarth Lewis
  • He sat for a moment biting his nails nervously and fidgeting in his chair.

    The Silent Bullet Arthur B. Reeve
  • The anxious chairman was fidgeting in an agony of apprehension.

    The Convert

    Elizabeth Robins
British Dictionary definitions for fidgeting


(intransitive) to move about restlessly
(intransitive) often foll by with. to make restless or uneasy movements (with something); fiddle: he fidgeted with his pen
(transitive) to cause to fidget
(transitive) to cause to worry; make uneasy
(often pl) a state of restlessness or unease, esp as expressed in continual motion: he's got the fidgets
a person who fidgets
Derived Forms
fidgetingly, adverb
fidgety, 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
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Word Origin and History for fidgeting



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
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