[ rig-uhl ]
See synonyms for wriggle on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object),wrig·gled, wrig·gling.
  1. to twist to and fro; writhe; squirm.

  2. to move along by twisting and turning the body, as a worm or snake.

  1. to make one's way by shifts or expedients (often followed by out): to wriggle out of a difficulty.

verb (used with object),wrig·gled, wrig·gling.
  1. to cause to wriggle: to wriggle one's hips.

  2. to bring, get, make, etc., by wriggling: to wriggle one's way through a narrow opening.

  1. act of wriggling; a wriggling movement.

Origin of wriggle

1485–95; <Middle Low German wriggelen (cognate with Dutch wriggelen), frequentative of *wriggen to twist, turn, akin to Old English wrīgian to twist; see wry

Other words from wriggle

  • wrig·gling·ly, adverb
  • outwriggle, verb (used with object), out·wrig·gled, out·wrig·gling.
  • un·wrig·gled, adjective

Words Nearby wriggle

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use wriggle in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for wriggle


/ (ˈrɪɡəl) /

  1. to make or cause to make twisting movements

  2. (intr) to progress by twisting and turning

  1. (intr; foll by into or out of) to manoeuvre oneself by clever or devious means: wriggle out of an embarrassing situation

  1. a wriggling movement or action

  2. a sinuous marking or course

Origin of wriggle

C15: from Middle Low German; compare Dutch wriggelen

Derived forms of wriggle

  • wriggler, noun
  • wriggly, adjective

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