[wig-uh l]
verb (used without object), wig·gled, wig·gling.
  1. to move or go with short, quick, irregular movements from side to side: The puppies wiggled with delight.
verb (used with object), wig·gled, wig·gling.
  1. to cause to wiggle; move quickly and irregularly from side to side.
  1. a wiggling movement or course.
  2. a wiggly line.
  3. a dish of creamed fish or shellfish and peas.
  1. get a wiggle on, Informal. to hurry up; get a move on: If you don't get a wiggle on, we'll miss the first act.

Origin of wiggle

1175–1225; Middle English wiglen; akin to Old English wegan to move, wēg motion, wicga insect; compare Norwegian vigla to totter, frequentative of vigga to rock oneself, Dutch, Low German wiggelen
Related formsout·wig·gle, verb (used with object), out·wig·gled, out·wig·gling.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for wiggling

twist, squirm, jerk, wag, writhe, jiggle, wave, wriggle, shimmy, zigzag, waggle, twitch, worm

Examples from the Web for wiggling

Contemporary Examples of wiggling

  • He must have noticed me looking because he held his fingers up, wiggling one as if he were showing off a ring.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Watching ISIS Come to Power Again

    Elliot Ackerman

    September 7, 2014

  • She escaped by propping the automatic garage door open with a paint can and wiggling out after her parents had gone to sleep.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Life With the Anarchists

    Evan Wright

    April 6, 2009

Historical Examples of wiggling

British Dictionary definitions for wiggling


  1. to move or cause to move with jerky movements, esp from side to side
  1. the act or an instance of wiggling
  2. get a wiggle on slang, mainly US to hurry up
Derived Formswiggler, nounwiggly, adjective

Word Origin for wiggle

C13: from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wiggelen
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 wiggling



early 13c., perhaps from Middle Dutch or Middle Flemish wigelen, frequentative of wiegen "to rock," from wiege "cradle" (cf. Old High German wiga, German Wiege, Old Frisian widze), from PIE root *wegh- "to move" (see weigh). Related: Wiggled; wiggling. The noun is attested from 1816.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper