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90s Slang You Should Know


[rig-uh l] /ˈrɪg əl/
verb (used without object), wriggled, wriggling.
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.
verb (used with object), wriggled, wriggling.
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
Related forms
wrigglingly, adverb
outwriggle, verb (used with object), outwriggled, outwriggling.
unwriggled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for wriggle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They can never sit still, but wriggle restlessly about on their seats, pick their nostrils, and bite their nails.

  • But you can wriggle yourself out of your Father's hand, if you will.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture Alexander Maclaren
  • Jimmy was beginning to wriggle, but he kept up a last desperate presence of not understanding them.

    Baby Mine Margaret Mayo
  • "If you wriggle for a year you won't get free," he said in a harsh whisper.

    The Rider of Waroona Firth Scott
  • To wriggle under a cavity in this stone and come out on the other side, is an infallible remedy for lumbago.

British Dictionary definitions for wriggle


to make or cause to make twisting movements
(intransitive) to progress by twisting and turning
(intransitive; foll by into or out of) to manoeuvre oneself by clever or devious means: wriggle out of an embarrassing situation
a wriggling movement or action
a sinuous marking or course
Derived Forms
wriggler, noun
wriggly, adjective
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for wriggle

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
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