- to wriggle or writhe.
- to feel or display discomfort or distress, as from reproof, embarrassment, pain, etc.: He squirmed under the judge's questioning.
- the act of squirming; a squirming or wriggling movement.
Origin of squirm
First recorded in 1685–95; of expressive orig., perhaps echoing worm
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for squirming
Netanyahu, despite all his squirming, is no longer the boss.How Bibi Stopped Being King
J. J. Goldberg
March 6, 2013
A brief struggle ensues as several officers attempt to subdue a squirming Grant, his hands behind his back.‘Fruitvale Station,’ Sundance’s Hottest Film, Comes to Theaters
January 22, 2013
In December, he was compelled to sign onto the Ryan budget plan after months of squirming to avoid it.Romney: Too Weak?
July 15, 2012
And to kill them, well, forget the slaughter house—just pop a bag of squirming crickets in the freezer.Forget the Starbucks Backlash—We Should Be Eating More Bugs
April 24, 2012
That left Mitt in the spotlight, squirming about his tax returns.
She could remember her, squirming and spluttering in her high nursery chair.Life and Death of Harriett Frean
A mother does not have to learn to love her helpless, squirming brood.Johnny Bear
E. T. Seton
The sack rose and fell as if something under it was squirming about convulsively.Out of the Depths
Robert Ames Bennet
The bags these women were emptying on the tables were squirming masses of life.Mayflower (Flor de mayo)
Vicente Blasco Ibez
Squirming and crawling about from place to place can do no good.The Story of Young Abraham Lincoln
- to move with a wriggling motion; writhe
- to feel deep mental discomfort, guilt, embarrassment, etc
- a squirming movement
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 squirming
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper