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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
  • Hodge was hardly able to breathe, and Harry Rattleton was fidgeting uneasily.

    Frank Merriwell's Reward Burt L. Standish
  • He sat for a moment biting his nails nervously and fidgeting in his chair.

    The Silent Bullet Arthur B. Reeve
  • We want to tell you something, explained Jean, fidgeting a little in her chair.

    Girls of Highland Hall Carolyn Watson Rankin
  • But it will not do your arm any good to be fidgeting about that.

    The Black Tor George Manville Fenn
  • She was fidgeting with the gauntlet which she had just removed.

  • After fidgeting a moment he added, "Well, I cal'late I'll have to be goin' now."

    Thankful's Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The rest of the silent hours are filled with eating and fidgeting, and long grumbling soliloquies.

  • And whichever they say I shall keep on fidgeting until I see what happens after that.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
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, 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).


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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