squirm

[skwurm]
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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.
noun
  1. 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

Synonyms for squirm

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

Related Words for squirming

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

Examples from the Web for squirming

Contemporary Examples of squirming

Historical Examples of squirming


British Dictionary definitions for squirming

squirm

verb (intr)
  1. to move with a wriggling motion; writhe
  2. to feel deep mental discomfort, guilt, embarrassment, etc
noun
  1. 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