squirm

[skwurm]

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.

noun

the act of squirming; a squirming or wriggling movement.

Nearby words

  1. squirearch,
  2. squirearchy,
  3. squiredom,
  4. squireen,
  5. squireling,
  6. squirmy,
  7. squirrel,
  8. squirrel away,
  9. squirrel cage,
  10. squirrel corn

Origin of squirm

First recorded in 1685–95; of expressive orig., perhaps echoing worm

Related formssquirm·er, nounsquirm·ing·ly, adverbun·squirm·ing, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for squirm


British Dictionary definitions for squirm

squirm

verb (intr)

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

noun

a squirming movement
Derived Formssquirmer, nounsquirming, adjectivesquirmingly, adverb

Word Origin for squirm

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

Word Origin and History for squirm

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