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[skwurm] /skwɜrm/
verb (used without object)
to wriggle or writhe.
to feel or display discomfort or distress, as from reproof, embarrassment, pain, etc.:
He squirmed under the judge's questioning.
the act of squirming; a squirming or wriggling movement.
Origin of squirm
First recorded in 1685-95; of expressive orig., perhaps echoing worm
Related forms
squirmer, noun
squirmingly, adverb
unsquirming, adjective
1. turn, twist. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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


verb (intransitive)
to move with a wriggling motion; writhe
to feel deep mental discomfort, guilt, embarrassment, etc
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



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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