Definition of fidget in US English:



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

    ‘the audience had begun to fidget on their chairs’
    • ‘Yet there will still embarrassingly long blackouts for the audience to fidget through.’
    • ‘They were barely fifteen feet away, and the terrorists had begun 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.’
    • ‘He grabbed his wet hair and began to fidget, running his hands over it nervously.’
    • ‘I couldn't stay asleep hunched over, so I began to fidget when Tony wasn't looking.’
    • ‘She fidgeted on her feet, tucking a strand of her disarray hair behind her ears a few times.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Jason Giambi twiddled his thumbs, crossed his legs and fidgeted in his chair.’
    • ‘He fought not to fidget or shuffle his feet at the awkward silence that lay between them after their shared poem.’
    • ‘He fidgets, squirms, runs and climbs in situations where being seated is expected.’
    • ‘He face reddens and he fidgets, shuffling from one foot to the other and rubbing the back of his neck.’
    • ‘He soon began to fidget nervously, partly because his body kept staring at him, and partly because of the deathly silence.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Laughing Death begins to stop laughing, and begins to fidget nervously.’
    • ‘We all looked at our feet, fidgeted, or simply stared ahead.’
    • ‘Her hands came up and began to fidget nervously.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She fidgeted in her chair during the 10-minute hearing before Superior Court Judge Elden S Fox.’
    move restlessly, wriggle, squirm, twitch, jiggle, writhe, twist, shuffle, be jittery, be anxious, be agitated
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    1. 1.1with object Make (someone) uneasy or uncomfortable.
      ‘she fidgets me with her never-ending spit and polish’
      • ‘As to the trickling of the Water underneath him, it fidgeted him no longer.’
      • ‘I begged him to put it on his head because it fidgeted me, and then inquired where we were.’


  • 1A quick, small movement, typically a repeated one, caused by nervousness or impatience.

    ‘he disturbed other people with convulsive fidgets’
    • ‘But Runako Morton, a flurry of hyperactive fidgets and movement, was keeping West Indies interested, winding up the situation, making the match taut.’
    • ‘Cassandra lay uncomfortably amongst the dishevelled sheets, serene stillness littered with the occasional fidget of distress.’
    • ‘He gives a nervous fidget again despite his smile.’
    • ‘Beginning an almost nervous fidget of picking at the lapel of his robe, Gwin worried her lower lip.’
    • ‘All men in all times, it seems, are prone to wind, lust, fidgets, fanaticism, credulity.’
    • ‘He felt the fidgets stop and simply looked at the line of gray in front of him, felt a sudden stab of sympathy for them.’
    • ‘He adjusted his spectacles, a fidget to cover what Padlin was sure was a sneer.’
    • ‘This, with a modicum of camera flow and fidget, is a filmed version of a stage performance of Neil LaBute's three one-acters, in which Mormons can be counted on to behave badly.’
    • ‘She always doodled when someone spoke to her, especially over the phone, because the nervous fidget seemed to relax people.’
    • ‘It was a Budget for stifled yawns and fidgets from MPs desperately whiling away the eternity of an oration that started at 12.30 pm and seemed to finish about 10 years later.’
    • ‘Amateur musicians often make such disclaimers before playing a recital-performers are usually a bundle of nerves, fidgets, and incessant motion.’
    • ‘Cavalon ran his fingers through his hair, a nervous fidget.’
    1. 1.1 A person given to repeated nervous or impatient movements, especially one whom other people find irritating.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      restless person, bundle of nerves
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    2. 1.2usually fidgets A state of mental or physical restlessness or uneasiness.
      ‘a marketing person full of nervous energy and fidgets’
      • ‘For the rest of the period, Nicole had the fidgets.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’.