also zigzag, 1712, from French zigzag (1670s), perhaps from German Zickzack (though this is attested only from 1703), possibly a reduplication of Zacke "tooth, prong." Earliest use in German is in reference to military siege approaches. Originally in English used to describe the layout of certain garden paths. The verb is recorded from 1787.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Examples from the Web for zig-zag

Contemporary Examples of zig-zag

Historical Examples of zig-zag

  • How long was it before the moon drifted from out that cloud-bank, where lightning played with zig-zag flames?

    The Argosy


  • The pencil was discarded for a fountain pen, and the zig-zag signals for the short and long lines now termed 'dots' and 'dashes.'

  • Three zig-zag trenches led from the cook house and First Aid Station to the second line of trenches.

  • The bottom rails rested upon the ground and the zig-zag fashion in which they were laid gave strength to the fence.

  • Gray, scarf-like films were speeding across the black-purple sky, and were suddenly rent by a zig-zag quiver of blue-white fire.

    A Melody in Silver

    Keene Abbott