AskDefine | Define wriggle

The Collaborative Dictionary

Wriggle \Wrig"gle\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Wriggled; p. pr. & vb. n. Wriggling.] [Freq. of wrig, probably from OE. wrikken to move to and fro; cf. LG. wriggeln, D. wrikken, Sw. vricka, Dan. vrikke.] To move the body to and fro with short, writhing motions, like a worm; to squirm; to twist uneasily or quickly about. [1913 Webster] Both he and successors would often wriggle in their seats, as long as the cushion lasted. --Swift. [1913 Webster]
Wriggle \Wrig"gle\, v. t. To move with short, quick contortions; to move by twisting and squirming; like a worm. [1913 Webster] Covetousness will wriggle itself out at a small hole. --Fuller. [1913 Webster] Wriggling his body to recover His seat, and cast his right leg over. --Hudibras. [1913 Webster]
Wriggle \Wrig"gle\, a. Wriggling; frisky; pliant; flexible. [Obs.] "Their wriggle tails." --Spenser. [1913 Webster]
Wriggle \Wrig"gle\, n. Act of wriggling; a short or quick writhing motion or contortion. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] [1913 Webster]

Word Net

wriggle n : the act of wiggling [syn: wiggle, squirm] v : to move in a twisting or contorted motion, (especially when struggling); "The prisoner writhed in discomfort"; "The child tried to wriggle free from his aunt's embrace" [syn: writhe, wrestle, worm, squirm, twist]

Moby Thesaurus

fidget, flip out, flow, flutter, freak out on, get high on, glide, glow, go pitapat, have the fidgets, have the shakes, heave, jerk, ooze, palpitate, pant, quake, quaver, quiver, shake, shiver, slide, slip, squiggle, squirm, swell, swell with emotion, thrill, thrill to, throb, tingle, tingle with excitement, toss, toss and turn, tremble, tumble, turn on to, twist and turn, twitch, twitter, wag, waggle, wiggle, worm, writhe




  1. to slightly twist one's body and quickly move one's limbs
    Teachers often lose their patience when children wriggle in their seats.
  2. to cause to or make something wriggle
    He was sitting on the lawn, wriggling his toes in the grass.

Derived terms



  1. a wriggling movement
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