zigzagger

[ zig-zag-er ]
/ ˈzɪgˌzæg ər /

noun

a person or thing that zigzags.
an attachment on a sewing machine for making zigzag stitches.

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Origin of zigzagger

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does zigzagger mean?

A zigzagger is someone or something that zigzags—moves in a pattern of alternating, sharp up-and-down turns.

This kind of pattern is called a zigzag. The word 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. 

Zigzagger isn’t commonly used in this way—there just aren’t that many situations in which it would make sense to use it. However, zigzag can mean to keep changing one’s mind (to flip-flop), and a person who does this can be called a zigzagger. A much more common term for this is flip-flopper.

Zigzagger is sometimes used in a much more specific way to refer to a sewing machine attachment that’s used to make a zigzag stitch—a kind of back and forth stitch that can be used to finish the edges of a garment or to join stretch fabrics. These are sometimes called zigzag attachments.

Example: No, I didn’t sew it by hand—my machine has a zigzagger that can do that kind of stitch.

Where does zigzagger come from?

The first records of the word zigzag come from around the early 1700s, and the word zigzagger has been used since at least the mid-1800s. Zigzag comes from the French ziczac, from the German zickzack, which is based on the German Zacke, meaning “point” or “jagged projection.”

In the context of sewing machines, zigzaggers are attachments that can be added to machines called straight needle sewing machines to allow them to make zigzag stitches—which they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do.

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

 

How is zigzagger used in real life?

Zigzagger is not commonly used. When it is, it usually refers to a sewing machine attachment.

 

Try using zigzagger!

Is zigzagger used correctly in the following sentence?

My antique sewing machine has a zigzagger attachment that lets me sew zigzag stitches.