[hwig, wig]

verb (used without object), whigged, whig·ging. Scot.

to move along briskly.

Nearby words

  1. whiffet,
  2. whiffle,
  3. whiffler,
  4. whiffletree,
  5. whiffy,
  6. whig party,
  7. whiggery,
  8. whiggish,
  9. whiggishly,
  10. whiggism

Origin of whig

1660–70; perhaps Scots variant of dial. fig to move briskly; see fidget


[hwig, wig]


American History.
  1. a member of the patriotic party during the Revolutionary period; supporter of the Revolution.
  2. a member of a political party (c1834–1855) that was formed in opposition to the Democratic Party, and favored economic expansion and a high protective tariff, while opposing the strength of the presidency in relation to the legislature.
British Politics.
  1. a member of a major political party (1679–1832) in Great Britain that held liberal principles and favored reforms: later called the Liberal party.
  2. (in later use) one of the more conservative members of the Liberal party.


being a Whig.
of, relating to, or characteristic of the Whigs.

Origin of Whig

1635–45; earlier, a Covenanter, hence an opponent of the accession of James II; of uncertain origin, though probably in part a shortening of whiggamaire (later whiggamore), a participant in the Whiggamore Raid a march against the royalists in Edinburgh launched by Covenanters in 1648 (said to represent whig to spur on (cf. whig) + maire mare1)

Related formspro-Whig, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for whig

British Dictionary definitions for whig



a member of the English political party or grouping that opposed the succession to the throne of James, Duke of York, in 1679–80 on the grounds that he was a Catholic. Standing for a limited monarchy, the Whigs represented the great aristocracy and the moneyed middle class for the next 80 years. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the Whigs represented the desires of industrialists and Dissenters for political and social reform. The Whigs provided the core of the Liberal Party
(in the US) a supporter of the War of American IndependenceCompare Tory
a member of the American political party that opposed the Democrats from about 1834 to 1855 and represented propertied and professional interests
a conservative member of the Liberal Party in Great Britain
a person who advocates and believes in an unrestricted laissez-faire economy
history a 17th-century Scottish Presbyterian, esp one in rebellion against the Crown


of, characteristic of, or relating to Whigs
Derived FormsWhiggery or Whiggism, nounWhiggish, adjectiveWhiggishly, adverbWhiggishness, noun

Word Origin for Whig

C17: probably shortened from whiggamore, one of a group of 17th-century Scottish rebels who joined in an attack on Edinburgh known as the whiggamore raid; probably from Scottish whig to drive (of obscure origin) + more, mer, maire horse, mare 1

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 whig


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper