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squirm

[skwurm] /skwɜrm/
verb (used without object)
1.
to wriggle or writhe.
2.
to feel or display discomfort or distress, as from reproof, embarrassment, pain, etc.:
He squirmed under the judge's questioning.
noun
3.
the act of squirming; a squirming or wriggling movement.
Origin of squirm
1685-1695
1685-95; of expressive orig., perhaps echoing worm
Related forms
squirmer, noun
squirmingly, adverb
unsquirming, adjective
Synonyms
1. turn, twist.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for squirmed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But Raymond was scarlet in the face, and he squirmed his head to and fro.

    The Young Pitcher Zane Grey
  • He squirmed, he wriggled, he humped as fast as he could, trying to escape; but all in vain.

    Eight Cousins Louisa M. Alcott
  • He squirmed--I use the word advisedly--and nearly fell off the fence.

    Bunch Grass Horace Annesley Vachell
  • Pickering squirmed all over his chair, but Jasper had the book.

  • Jeff landed on the bottom, but like an eel he squirmed to the top before the other had time to get set.

    The Vision Spendid William MacLeod Raine
  • He squirmed when they looked at him with shining-eyed respect.

    Talents, Incorporated William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • Instantly Mary squirmed around again and engulfed Una in a bear's hug.

    Rainbow Valley Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Weedon squirmed at this, and even Jeff thought it rather a nasty cut.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • When we stopped one, it squirmed out of our grasp and walked away.

    The Secret of the Ninth Planet Donald Allen Wollheim
British Dictionary definitions for squirmed

squirm

/skwɜːm/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to move with a wriggling motion; writhe
2.
to feel deep mental discomfort, guilt, embarrassment, etc
noun
3.
a squirming movement
Derived Forms
squirmer, noun
squirming, adjective
squirmingly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: of imitative origin (perhaps influenced by worm)
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 squirmed

squirm

v.

1690s, originally referring to eels, of unknown origin; sometimes associated with worm or swarm, but perhaps rather imitative. Related: Squirmed; squirming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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