verb (used with object), zig·zagged, zig·zag·ging.
verb (used without object), zig·zagged, zig·zag·ging.
VIDEO FOR ZIGZAG
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Origin of zigzag
OTHER WORDS FROM zigzagzig·zag·ged·ness [zig-zag-id-nis], /ˈzɪgˌzæg ɪd nɪs/, noun
Words nearby zigzag
What does zigzag mean?
A zigzag is a line of alternating, sharp up-and-down turns that form peaks and valleys kind of resembling the letter Z.
As a noun, zigzag can also refer to a route or path that resembles this kind of pattern, as in The dragonfly moved through the air in a zigzag.
Zigzag can also be used as a verb meaning to move back and forth while traveling forward in a way that resembles this pattern, as in The dragonfly zigzagged through the air.
As a verb, zigzag is most commonly used in the context of physical movement, but it can be used in situations in which people keep doing different things, such as changing their minds. A much more common term for this is flip-flop.
It is also used as an adjective in phrases like zigzag pattern. In sewing, a zigzag stitch is a type of stitch that can be made by a sewing machine, such as to finish the edges of a garment. Some sewing machines use an attachment called a zigzagger to make such stitches.
Example: Some animals, like the hare, move in a zigzag pattern when escaping predators, making it harder for them to be caught.
Where does zigzag come from?
The first records of the word zigzag come from around 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.”
Zigzags have jagged points from the line sharply moving up and then back down. Sometimes, people use the words zig and zag by themselves to mean to move in one of the directions in a zigzag pattern. This is usually used in a somewhat humorous way, as in You zigged when you should have zagged! Both zig and zag came from zigzag (not the other way around).
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How is zigzag used in real life?
Zigzag is commonly used as a noun, verb, and adjective. It’s typically used in the context of patterns and movements.
Who drew a zigzag and decided to call it a "N and why did someone draw that same zigzag sideways and call it a "Z"?
— Cierra (@PearlsForDogTag) March 22, 2014
DYK when squirrels feel threatened, they run away in a zigzag pattern. This is a useful strategy to predators. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work so well on cars. Consider slowing down and giving squirrels a brake! More squirrel facts: https://t.co/U08Ld8V7db #SquirrelAppreciationDay pic.twitter.com/twzn2tBErj
— National Wildlife Federation (@NWF) January 22, 2018
CM Rasmussen re sidewalk policy: “This new rule means fewer people walking into traffic or zigzagging across intersections on their way home
— Seattle City Council (@SeattleCouncil) October 15, 2015
Try using zigzag!
Which of the following words best describes a zigzag?
How to use zigzag in a sentence
Archaeologists walk or push the machines over the ground like a zigzagging lawnmower.To find answers about the 1921 race massacre, Tulsa digs up its painful past|Helen Thompson|May 27, 2021|Science News
Then the balloon would tack around and slowly zigzag through the plume from the opposite direction.A first-of-its-kind geoengineering experiment is about to take its first step|Emily Luong|February 19, 2021|MIT Technology Review
The eccentric, improvisational zigzags in his early career, along with the array of challenging hobbies, suggest that Irvine is constantly searching for the proper match for his considerable abilities.An Unexpected Twist Lights Up the Secrets of Turbulence|David H. Freedman|September 3, 2020|Quanta Magazine
The first was christened by the great etiquette guru Emily Post as “zigzag” eating.The Strange Way We Eat: Bee Wilson’s ‘Consider the Fork’|Bee Wilson|October 13, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Indeed, Clinton responded to the GOP congressional takeover with exactly the same zigzag.Obama Steals Clinton’s 1994 Playbook With Daley Demotion|Peter Beinart|November 12, 2011|DAILY BEAST
It cut its zigzag way through the marsh for many miles, and they could follow its course with the eye but a few feet at a time.
I do not know how to sympathize with any thing that is not straightforward and true, and your course is rather zigzag.Tessa Wadsworth's Discipline|Jennie M. Drinkwater
The stone walls of houses were cracked; one of the "mansions" had a zigzag crevice from top to bottom.
A steep and narrow path cuts along the former, and a really good road winds zigzag along the other to the Governor's House.Napoleon's Young Neighbor|Helen Leah Reed
It is Norman, ornamented with a simply executed but very pleasing zigzag: the capitals of the piers are cushioned.Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Carlisle|C. King Eley