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.

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 squirming

British Dictionary definitions for squirming

squirm

/ (skwɜːm) /

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 squirming

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