- 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).
- a piece of anything of like shape: a wedge of pie.
- a cuneiform character or stroke of this shape.
- Meteorology. (formerly) an elongated area of relatively high pressure.
- something that serves to part, split, divide, etc.: The quarrel drove a wedge into the party organization.
- Military. (formerly) a tactical formation generally in the form of a V with the point toward the enemy.
- 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.
- Optics. optical wedge.
- Chiefly Coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island. a hero sandwich.
- a wedge heel or shoe with such a heel.
- to separate or split with or as if with a wedge (often followed by open, apart, etc.): to wedge open a log.
- to insert or fix with a wedge.
- to pack or fix tightly: to wedge clothes into a suitcase.
- to thrust, drive, fix, etc., like a wedge: He wedged himself through the narrow opening.
- Ceramics. to pound (clay) in order to remove air bubbles.
- to fell or direct the fall of (a tree) by driving wedges into the cut made by the saw.
- to force a way like a wedge (usually followed by in, into, through, etc.): The box won't wedge into such a narrow space.
Origin of wedge
SynonymsSee more synonyms for wedge on Thesaurus.com
Regional variation note
Examples from the Web for wedge
A decade ago, gays were a wedge issue used by Republicans to energize the base.It Gets Better—but Mostly if You Live in a Rich, Democratic Country
November 11, 2014
In recent years there have been many issues driving a wedge between Riyadh and Washington.Saudi Arabia’s Comic Book Fatwa
March 28, 2014
Bevin, along with state and national Democrats, delight in trying to drive a wedge between McConnell and Paul.Can ‘the Traitor’ Jesse Benton Unite the GOP?
March 28, 2014
But he thought he might bulldog the case for a while and find a wedge for a lawsuit.The Strange and Mysterious Death of Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis
Richard Ben Cramer
January 11, 2014
Jenny Packham polka-dotted frock with a high-waisted elastic waistband and wedge heels.Kate Middleton Looked Goddam Fabulous Today
July 23, 2013
Here they stood in the form of a wedge; there they turned the Normans, and put them to flight.English Villages
P. H. Ditchfield
He's a good enough fellow—but he'll drive a wedge into our life.The Coryston Family
Mrs. Humphry Ward
There must be more giving of ourselves if that wedge is to be widened in the disc.Things as They Are
She found a wedge of wood at the other side and drew it out.The Treasure Trail
Marah Ellis Ryan
The hair, of course, must be brought over the wedge in an even ribbon.The Bow, Its History, Manufacture and Use
- 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
- any formation, structure, or substance in the shape of a wedgea wedge of cheese
- something such as an idea, action, etc, that tends to cause division
- a shoe with a wedge heel
- golf a club with a face angle of more than 50°, used for bunker shots (sand wedge) or pitch shots (pitching wedge)
- a wedge-shaped extension of the high pressure area of an anticyclone, narrower than a ridge
- mountaineering a wedge-shaped device, formerly of wood, now usually of hollow steel, for hammering into a crack to provide an anchor point
- any of the triangular characters used in cuneiform writing
- (formerly) a body of troops formed in a V-shape
- 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
- British slang a bribe
- thin end of the wedge anything unimportant in itself that implies the start of something much larger
- (tr) to secure with or as if with a wedge
- to squeeze or be squeezed like a wedge into a narrow space
- (tr) to force apart or divide with or as if with a wedge
Word Origin and History for wedge
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.
mid-15c., from wedge (n.). Related: Wedged; wedging.
Idioms and Phrases with wedge
see thin edge of the wedge.