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wedge

[wej]
noun
  1. a piece of hard material with two principal faces meeting in a sharply acute angle, for raising, holding, or splitting objects by applying a pounding or driving force, as from a hammer.Compare machine(def 3b).
  2. a piece of anything of like shape: a wedge of pie.
  3. a cuneiform character or stroke of this shape.
  4. Meteorology. (formerly) an elongated area of relatively high pressure.
  5. something that serves to part, split, divide, etc.: The quarrel drove a wedge into the party organization.
  6. Military. (formerly) a tactical formation generally in the form of a V with the point toward the enemy.
  7. Golf. a club with an iron head the face of which is nearly horizontal, for lofting the ball, especially out of sand traps and high grass.
  8. Optics. optical wedge.
  9. haček.
  10. Chiefly Coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island. a hero sandwich.
  11. a wedge heel or shoe with such a heel.
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verb (used with object), wedged, wedg·ing.
  1. to separate or split with or as if with a wedge (often followed by open, apart, etc.): to wedge open a log.
  2. to insert or fix with a wedge.
  3. to pack or fix tightly: to wedge clothes into a suitcase.
  4. to thrust, drive, fix, etc., like a wedge: He wedged himself through the narrow opening.
  5. Ceramics. to pound (clay) in order to remove air bubbles.
  6. to fell or direct the fall of (a tree) by driving wedges into the cut made by the saw.
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verb (used without object), wedged, wedg·ing.
  1. to force a way like a wedge (usually followed by in, into, through, etc.): The box won't wedge into such a narrow space.
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Origin of wedge

before 900; Middle English wegge (noun), Old English wecg; cognate with dialectal German Weck (Old High German wecki), Old Norse veggr
Related formswedge·like, adjectiveun·wedge, verb (used with object), un·wedged, un·wedg·ing.

Synonyms

Regional variation note

10. See hero sandwich.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unwedge

Historical Examples

  • They were too busy fighting to get their breath back, and to unwedge themselves from the sidecar.

    Dave Dawson at Dunkirk

    Robert Sydney Bowen


British Dictionary definitions for unwedge

wedge

noun
  1. a block of solid material, esp wood or metal, that is shaped like a narrow V in cross section and can be pushed or driven between two objects or parts of an object in order to split or secure them
  2. any formation, structure, or substance in the shape of a wedgea wedge of cheese
  3. something such as an idea, action, etc, that tends to cause division
  4. a shoe with a wedge heel
  5. golf a club with a face angle of more than 50°, used for bunker shots (sand wedge) or pitch shots (pitching wedge)
  6. a wedge-shaped extension of the high pressure area of an anticyclone, narrower than a ridge
  7. mountaineering a wedge-shaped device, formerly of wood, now usually of hollow steel, for hammering into a crack to provide an anchor point
  8. any of the triangular characters used in cuneiform writing
  9. (formerly) a body of troops formed in a V-shape
  10. photog a strip of glass coated in such a way that it is clear at one end but becomes progressively more opaque towards the other end: used in making measurements of transmission density
  11. British slang a bribe
  12. thin end of the wedge anything unimportant in itself that implies the start of something much larger
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verb
  1. (tr) to secure with or as if with a wedge
  2. to squeeze or be squeezed like a wedge into a narrow space
  3. (tr) to force apart or divide with or as if with a wedge
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Derived Formswedgelike, adjectivewedgy, adjective

Word Origin

Old English wecg; related to Old Saxon weggi, Old High German wecki, Old Norse veggr wall
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 unwedge

wedge

v.

mid-15c., from wedge (n.). Related: Wedged; wedging.

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wedge

n.

Old English wecg "a wedge," from Proto-Germanic *wagjaz (cf. Old Norse veggr, Middle Dutch wegge, Dutch wig, Old High German weggi "wedge," German Weck "wedge-shaped bread roll"), of unknown origin. Wedge issue is attested from 1999.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with unwedge

wedge

see thin edge of the wedge.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.