View synonyms for wedge


[ wej ]


  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. Chiefly Coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island. a hero sandwich.
  10. a wedge heel or shoe with such a heel.

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.

    Synonyms: squeeze, crowd, stuff, jam, cram

  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.

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.


/ wɛdʒ /


  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 wedge

    a 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. slang.
    a bribe
  12. thin end of the wedge
    thin end of the wedge anything unimportant in itself that implies the start of something much larger


  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 Forms

  • ˈwedgy, adjective
  • ˈwedgeˌlike, adjective

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Other Words From

  • wedgelike adjective
  • un·wedge verb (used with object) unwedged unwedging

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Word History and Origins

Origin of wedge1

before 900; Middle English wegge (noun), Old English wecg; cognate with dialectal German Weck ( Old High German wecki ), Old Norse veggr

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Word History and Origins

Origin of wedge1

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

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Idioms and Phrases

see thin edge of the wedge .

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Example Sentences

They think they’re going to win eventually, and they just need to slowly drive a wedge in there.

Rather, deep rock pushing toward Earth’s surface may be driving a wedge between the plates that helps separate them, researchers report online January 27 in Nature.

Like the wedge of cheese it is, Firefly Lane goes down easy with a glass of wine.

From Time

Anti-snore pillows often come in the shape of a wedge, but you can also find smaller pillows to use as a level or an insert along with your current pillow.

Almost anyone with an agenda and some know-how can shove a wedge of doubt between citizens and consequential facts, whether they be election results, climate science or ways to avoid life-threatening illness.

The execution of two police officers in cold blood has shocked the city and driven a deeper wedge between the cops and the mayor.

A decade ago, gays were a wedge issue used by Republicans to energize the base.

In recent years there have been many issues driving a wedge between Riyadh and Washington.

Bevin, along with state and national Democrats, delight in trying to drive a wedge between McConnell and Paul.

Police squadrons had to form a “flying wedge” to break through the crowd to rescue blacks besieged in the park.

The individual prisms are usually slender, with one beveled, wedge-like end, but are sometimes needle-like.

I dont think much of this jam pie, complained Chet, holding up a wedge that he had taken from his sisters basket.

It should be fixed in the head by means of a thin, barbed iron wedge.

With the wedge Rose pried a floor-board out of its place, and made an opening large enough to let himself through.

The gate was already opening, a wedge of the painted warriors heading through, flame-throwers ready.


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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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