• synonyms


verb (used without object)
  1. to wriggle or writhe.
  2. to feel or display discomfort or distress, as from reproof, embarrassment, pain, etc.: He squirmed under the judge's questioning.
Show More
  1. the act of squirming; a squirming or wriggling movement.
Show More

Origin of squirm

First recorded in 1685–95; of expressive orig., perhaps echoing worm
Related formssquirm·er, nounsquirm·ing·ly, adverbun·squirm·ing, adjective

Synonyms for squirm

1. turn, twist.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for squirmed

flounder, writhe, twist, agonize, shift, skew, wriggle, squiggle, toss, wind, worm

Examples from the Web for squirmed

Contemporary Examples of squirmed

Historical Examples of squirmed

British Dictionary definitions for squirmed


verb (intr)
  1. to move with a wriggling motion; writhe
  2. to feel deep mental discomfort, guilt, embarrassment, etc
Show More
  1. a squirming movement
Show More
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 squirmed



1690s, originally referring to eels, of unknown origin; sometimes associated with worm or swarm, but perhaps rather imitative. Related: Squirmed; squirming.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper