• synonyms


See more synonyms for zigzag on Thesaurus.com
  1. a line, course, or progression characterized by sharp turns first to one side and then to the other.
  2. one of a series of such turns, as in a line or path.
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  1. proceeding or formed in a zigzag: zigzag stitches.
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  1. with frequent sharp turns from side to side; in a zigzag manner: The child ran zigzag along the beach.
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verb (used with object), zig·zagged, zig·zag·ging.
  1. to make (something) zigzag, as in form or course; move or maneuver (something) in a zigzag direction: They zigzagged their course to confuse the enemy.
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verb (used without object), zig·zagged, zig·zag·ging.
  1. to proceed in a zigzag line or course.
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Origin of zigzag

1705–15; < French; replacing earlier ziczac < French < German zickzack, gradational compound based on Zacke tack1
Related formszig·zag·ged·ness [zig-zag-id-nis] /ˈzɪgˌzæg ɪd nɪs/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for zigzag

irregular, diagonal, rambling, meandering, crooked, serrated, inclined, twisted, undulating, oblique, winding, bent, jagged, sloping, fluctuating, twisting, snaking, askew, awry, devious

Examples from the Web for zigzag

Contemporary Examples of zigzag

Historical Examples of zigzag

  • Where the drawing is white, cover the page with zigzag lines.

  • The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks.

    Essays, First Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • And there she was, waiting for them in the wet, at the first turn of the zigzag.

  • The lines of wall, floor and ceiling were strangely off proportion, zigzag, unrelated.


    Robert Sheckley

  • Carmena dropped it at his feet and began to zigzag down the mesa side.

    Bloom of Cactus

    Robert Ames Bennet

British Dictionary definitions for zigzag


  1. a line or course characterized by sharp turns in alternating directions
  2. one of the series of such turns
  3. something having the form of a zigzag
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  1. (usually prenominal) formed in or proceeding in a zigzag
  2. (of sewing machine stitches) produced in a zigzag by a swing needle used for joining stretch fabrics, neatening raw edges, etc
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  1. in a zigzag manner
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verb -zags, -zagging or -zagged
  1. to proceed or cause to proceed in a zigzag
  2. (tr) to form into a zigzag
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Derived Formszigzaggedness, nounzigzagger, noun

Word Origin for zigzag

C18: from French, from German zickzack, from Zacke point, jagged projection; see tack 1
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