[ zig ]

verb (used without object)

, zigged, zig·ging.
  1. to move in one of the two directions followed in a zigzag course:

    He zigged when he should have zagged.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of zig1

First recorded in 1785–95; extracted from zigzag

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Example Sentences

During the test we rolled down stairs, ran through pea gravel, zig-zagged around raised beds, and rolled through deep dirt.

During a period when few things have progressed in predictable ways, when days at home have blurred together and steps forward are often followed by zig-zagging steps back, running and audiobooks have been twin comforts.

The undercover later returned to get his shirts and the manager, Jamshid Bahrami, presented him with the Zig-Zags.

But he also sees this zig-zag price movement compressing, and soon to break.

As the Silence walked on, I could see the grass waving in zig-zag curves across the river.

Then all this stopped and on the wet undergrowth again there was a movement like the zig-zag stripe of the tiger's skin.

About a mile off he saw two men coming slowly up by a zig-zag path toward the very point where he stood.

Those leaves were floating through the shadows and when the wind moved, others zig-zagged softly down to join them.

The sled began zig-zagging, twisting wildly as the shells popped on either side of it.


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More About Zig

What does zig mean?

Zig is an informal verb that means to move in one of the directions in a zigzag pattern.

A zigzag is a line of alternating, sharp up-and-down turns that form peaks and valleys kind of resembling the letter Z. Zigzag can also be used as a verb meaning to move back and forth while traveling forward in a way that resembles this pattern.

The word zag can be used to mean the same thing as zig. However, the two terms are typically used together, in which case they mean to move in opposite directions. This is usually used in a somewhat humorous way.

Zig and zag are most commonly used in the context of physical movement, but they are sometimes used in situations in which people keep doing different things, such as when changing their minds back and forth.

Example: I threw the ball where I said I was going to throw it, but you zigged when you should have zagged!

Where does zig come from?

The first records of the words zig and zag come from the late 1700s. The word zigzag has been used since at least the early 1700s. It comes from the French ziczac, from the German zickzack, which is based on the German Zacke, meaning “point” or “jagged projection.” Both zig and zag came from zigzag—not the other way around.

Zigzag patterns have jagged points from the line sharply moving up and then back down. To zigzag is to move in this way, and to zig is to move in one of those diagonal directions. Saying that someone is “zigzagging all over the state” (meaning they are traveling back and forth across it) is the same as saying they are “zigging and zagging all over the state.”

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What are some synonyms for zig?

  • zag (when used together, they can be considered opposites)

What are some words that share a root or word element with zig

What are some words that often get used in discussing zig?

How is zig used in real life?

Zig is very informal. It’s usually used alongside zag.



Try using zig!

Is zig used correctly in the following sentence? 

Sometimes in life, you zig when you should zag and end up making the wrong decision.