Definition of fidget in English:



[no object]
  • 1Make small movements, especially of the hands and feet, through nervousness or impatience.

    ‘the audience began to fidget and whisper’
    • ‘Yet there will still embarrassingly long blackouts for the audience to fidget through.’
    • ‘The giggling had a lot to do with Chris Rock, who fidgeted in his chair when he wasn't levelling you with a hard look and a joke.’
    • ‘He grabbed his wet hair and began to fidget, running his hands over it nervously.’
    • ‘I stared at my feet and fidgeted, trying to pass the time as quickly as possible.’
    • ‘Unfortunately it was during this time that R. began to fidget, twisting and turning in the seat, putting her foot up and down, propping it across her right knee or rubbing it restlessly.’
    • ‘Theo came over to Lydia, whose hands had begun to fidget nervously.’
    • ‘Nate fidgeted, shuffling his feet and rolling his shoulders inside the itchy shirt.’
    • ‘He soon began to fidget nervously, partly because his body kept staring at him, and partly because of the deathly silence.’
    • ‘We all looked at our feet, fidgeted, or simply stared ahead.’
    • ‘She fidgeted in her chair during the 10-minute hearing before Superior Court Judge Elden S Fox.’
    • ‘He face reddens and he fidgets, shuffling from one foot to the other and rubbing the back of his neck.’
    • ‘He fought not to fidget or shuffle his feet at the awkward silence that lay between them after their shared poem.’
    • ‘I couldn't stay asleep hunched over, so I began to fidget when Tony wasn't looking.’
    • ‘Jason Giambi twiddled his thumbs, crossed his legs and fidgeted in his chair.’
    • ‘The Laughing Death begins to stop laughing, and begins to fidget nervously.’
    • ‘Tomas unknowingly began to fidget in his chair, and his hands began to shake uncontrollably, but he still had control over his mind and will.’
    • ‘They were barely fifteen feet away, and the terrorists had begun to fidget nervously.’
    • ‘He fidgets, squirms, runs and climbs in situations where being seated is expected.’
    • ‘Her hands came up and began to fidget nervously.’
    • ‘She fidgeted on her feet, tucking a strand of her disarray hair behind her ears a few times.’
    move restlessly, wriggle, squirm, twitch, jiggle, writhe, twist, shuffle, be jittery, be anxious, be agitated
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    1. 1.1 Be impatient or uneasy.
      with infinitive ‘he was fidgeting to get back to his shop’
      • ‘No sooner do they arrive at their destination than he is already fidgeting to get back to work.’
      • ‘If you're fidgeting to do something, take a walk or watch Oprah.’


  • 1A person who fidgets.

    • ‘I remember from the old days, when a weekly trip to the cinema was a vital part of life, that a fidget spoils the show for everybody.’
    • ‘He was also a bit of a fidget, I'd observed him earlier in the day spending a good 30 minutes clearing the surrounding area of bits of tree, weed and bottles washed in by the tide.’
    restless person, bundle of nerves
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    1. 1.1usually fidgets A state of mental or physical restlessness or unease.
      ‘Captain Osborne had the fidgets’
      • ‘For the rest of the period, Nicole had the fidgets.’
      • ‘But what about mild depression, the kind of sadness that puts you in a fidget, makes you lose sleep, dulls your appetite and your wit, and saps your energy?’
      • ‘As with a lot of all-improvisation discs, this is an element of the music too often overtaken by the fidget and bustle of ongoing events.’
      • ‘This summer, for those road trips where I-spy and license-plate bingo are no longer enough, you might want to consider another way to fight the fidgets.’
      restlessness, nervousness, fidgetiness, unease, uneasiness
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Late 17th century: from obsolete or dialect fidge ‘to twitch’; perhaps related to Old Norse fikja ‘move briskly, be restless or eager’.