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. 2019

Examples from the Web for zigzagged

Contemporary Examples of zigzagged

  • After high school she attended a cours prépératoire in Paris—“Marxist training,” she calls it—then zigzagged to Sarah Lawrence.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Joan Juliet Buck: Budding Star

    Penelope Rowlands

    July 17, 2010

Historical Examples of zigzagged

  • They zigzagged down until nearly to the edge of the steep drop.

    The Portygee

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • The little path that zigzagged upward was not wide enough for two.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • For a long time she zigzagged about, going by provoking fits and starts.

    Birds of the Rockies

    Leander Sylvester Keyser

  • They zigzagged like a snake and again made geometrical figures.

  • Then came a vivid flash of fire that zigzagged across the sky.

British Dictionary definitions for zigzagged



a line or course characterized by sharp turns in alternating directions
one of the series of such turns
something having the form of a zigzag


(usually prenominal) formed in or proceeding in a zigzag
(of sewing machine stitches) produced in a zigzag by a swing needle used for joining stretch fabrics, neatening raw edges, etc


in a zigzag manner

verb -zags, -zagging or -zagged

to proceed or cause to proceed in a zigzag
(tr) to form into a zigzag
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