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 fidg·et·er. 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 formsfidg·et·ing·ly, adverbun·fidg·et·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fidget

Contemporary Examples of fidget

Historical Examples of fidget

  • She was looking about her on all sides, in a fidget of annoyance, searching for him, and to his dismay she saw him.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • Henry did not encourage romance, and she was no girl to fidget for it.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • There was no impatience or desire to fidget left in Jabe Smith now.

    The House in the Water

    Charles G. D. Roberts

  • It was hard to wait, hard not to fidget under the watchful—the only word—eyes of the GG.

  • Mr Neeld was in a fidget, a fidget of importance and expectancy.

    Tristram of Blent

    Anthony Hope

British Dictionary definitions for fidget



(intr) to move about restlessly
(intr often foll by with) to make restless or uneasy movements (with something); fiddlehe fidgeted with his pen
(tr) to cause to fidget
(tr) to cause to worry; make uneasy


(often plural) a state of restlessness or unease, esp as expressed in continual motionhe's got the fidgets
a person who fidgets
Derived Formsfidgetingly, adverbfidgety, adjective

Word Origin for fidget

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

Word Origin and History for fidget

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