squirm

[ 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.

noun

the act of squirming; a squirming or wriggling movement.

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Origin of squirm

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

OTHER WORDS FROM squirm

squirmer, nounsquirm·ing·ly, adverbun·squirm·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for squirm

British Dictionary definitions for squirm

squirm
/ (skwɜːm) /

verb (intr)

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

noun

a squirming movement

Derived forms of squirm

squirmer, 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