- to twist to and fro; writhe; squirm.
- to move along by twisting and turning the body, as a worm or snake.
- to make one's way by shifts or expedients (often followed by out): to wriggle out of a difficulty.
- to cause to wriggle: to wriggle one's hips.
- to bring, get, make, etc., by wriggling: to wriggle one's way through a narrow opening.
- act of wriggling; a wriggling movement.
Origin of wriggle
1485–95; < Middle Low German wriggelen (cognate with Dutch wriggelen), frequentative of *wriggen to twist, turn, akin to Old English wrīgian to twist; see wry
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- to make or cause to make twisting movements
- (intr) to progress by twisting and turning
- (intr; foll by into or out of) to manoeuvre oneself by clever or devious meanswriggle out of an embarrassing situation
- a wriggling movement or action
- a sinuous marking or course
C15: from Middle Low German; compare Dutch wriggelen
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 wriggle out
late 15c., from Middle Low German wrigglen "to wriggle," from Proto-Germanic *wrig-, *wreik- "to turn" (see wry). Related to Old English wrigian "to turn, incline, go forward."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper