Definition of jiggle in US English:



[no object]
  • 1Move about lightly and quickly from side to side or up and down.

    ‘his head jiggles up and down as he speaks’
    • ‘If only I can work out a way of securing it so it doesn't jiggle about, can I make a second plant out of it?’
    • ‘If you looked very closely you could actually see Courtney's jowls and flabby chin jiggling violently when he went for the big notes.’
    • ‘‘Come on’, he coaxes, with a devilish little grin while his fingers jiggle in your sides, ‘who's the best?’’
    • ‘The first layer is ready when it is golden brown, or when it does not jiggle / move when you take it out of the oven.’
    • ‘Metro drivers spend the day jiggling in air-conditioned cabins, sitting on fold-down chairs small enough to persuade many to stand.’
    • ‘Before the Jell-O started jiggling, though, the topic of a repeat was raised.’
    • ‘There I am, pounding away on the streets, trying to train hard, but my breasts just keep jiggling all the time.’
    • ‘They walk away with a look of feigned understanding while I jiggle away, belly and double chin and all.’
    • ‘Also, I suspect that nuns don't usually jiggle like that when they dance.’
    • ‘I snorted back a giggle at the way the ring jiggled when he moved his eyebrow like that.’
    • ‘Strong winds make it twist, jiggle and dance, hum, sing and scream like a banshee.’
    • ‘Poor Aunt Barb didn't know the frequency, and so she jiggled in vain until someone heard her cries for help and came to the rescue.’
    • ‘The door handle began to jiggle and Coran quickly reached out and gripped it to try to stop it from opening.’
    • ‘One of the tunes is Gnat's favorite, or so I like to pretend; she does a little baby-dance when it comes on, jiggling up and down while I do a dance.’
    • ‘So the overall effect from some distance away was of a green thread that moved steadily, but jiggled and shook like a sensuous conga line.’
    • ‘By chance I found a cloud of fish-fry, thousands of transparent proto-fish all facing in the same direction, jiggling on the flow of the current.’
    • ‘This time I don't feel that way so much, the wriggling and jiggling and tickling inside feels more like a reassurance that all is well.’
    • ‘His leg jiggled involuntarily, and he clamped it.’
    • ‘Looking up when the doorknob jiggled I panicked, jerking up and flushing the toilet quickly.’
    • ‘The fat that jiggles when you move, on the hips, thighs and tummy, isn't the problem.’
    fidget, wriggle, squirm, move restlessly
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Shake (something) lightly up and down or from side to side.
      ‘he was jiggling his car keys in his hand’
      • ‘But they're really jiggling the plug in the socket.’
      • ‘His hand wrapped carefully around the handle and jiggled it lightly.’
      • ‘He grasped the toast from the toaster, gently jiggling them in his little hands, as it was still a little hot.’
      • ‘She cocked her head to one side and jiggled the apple up and down a few times but I closed my eyes and tried to ignore her.’
      • ‘‘Thanks,’ she replied jiggling the keys in her hand.’
      • ‘He would play with his lip ring, roll his pencil around on the desk, jiggle his knees and shake his head to the tune in his head.’
      • ‘Amber stood beside her jiggling her car keys, ‘Ri, you ready to go?’’
      • ‘After a warm-up, we learn how to shake our upper bodies while jiggling our hips, which is not an easy feat.’
      • ‘He jiggles the key in the lock on the front door, trying to persuade the tumblers to shift, which they finally do, reluctantly.’
      • ‘Ian jiggled the key desperately, glancing back at the fire exit.’
      • ‘To wash your hands you have to induce a flow of water by jiggling them about under the opening where the water is supposed to come out.’
      • ‘The vampire shook his arms, jiggling the shackles.’
      • ‘And he is consistently jiggling the chessboard slightly, so that the pieces are vibrating around.’
      • ‘I just stood in the drizzle, jiggling my keys in my hand as I watched him peel out of the parking lot.’
      • ‘She jiggled the key and finally, the knob turned.’
      • ‘It took a moment to jiggle the badly-cut key in my door, but eventually I managed to open it.’
      • ‘He doesn't try to crawl into its packed depths; he just enjoys running his paw under the door and jiggling it open.’
      • ‘She sits for a long time on the hood of her car, jiggling her heels against the bumper.’
      • ‘A few hours later Greg came to find me outside, my hands jiggling the cigarette I was using to try and calm me down.’
      • ‘There are reminiscences of ‘Neily’ leaping about in his playpen, jiggling his diaper to a boogie-woogie 78.’
      shake, jig, joggle, jog, waggle, wiggle
      View synonyms


  • A quick light shake.

    ‘give that rack a jiggle’
    • ‘It absorbed Cassie's delicate fingers as she released to a slight jiggle.’
    • ‘She gave them a jiggle and they trembled like kittens in a meat locker.’
    • ‘You had to give the flagstick a jiggle before the ball would drop.’
    • ‘But it's not all about putting the jiggle back in home improvement.’
    • ‘The coin in her pocket gave a small jiggle and a tiny voice said, ‘Master, you must.’’
    • ‘A quick jiggle of his door showed that it was locked.’
    • ‘Last fall's dramatic-series surprise was Las Vegas, all jiggle and surveillance cameras, a rush we could count on.’
    • ‘My feet did a little jiggle to the music softly playing through the radio on my bedside table as I stared at the ceiling.’
    • ‘I'm convinced that film has a soul, and for me it's the jiggle in the [projector] gate.’
    • ‘What starts out as a quantum jiggle can amplify quickly.’
    • ‘Mum gave us a jiggle of the legs to show us they are working.’
    • ‘When XFL broadcasters lost the courage of their convictions regarding jiggle, the football gods punished the enterprise with demise.’
    • ‘They wobbled a little as she bounced on her steps, then rested with a quick jiggle as she stopped.’
    • ‘But beyond the jiggle, I don't see much else at work here that's worthy of note, or your precious nickel.’
    • ‘We did that for several seconds, before I started a mad jiggle on the spot, moving around to face him as I did so.’
    • ‘Viana delights the crowd with a wee jiggle before teeing up Shearer, who dribbles his shot straight at Buffon.’
    • ‘Honestly, we could go on about Inferno's nifty fire effect, or Voldo's creepy, stationary strut, or even Taki's newfound jiggle.’
    • ‘It is like being at a silent auction; a mere jiggle of the head fetches a waiter to freshen my drink.’
    • ‘There was a jiggle of keys in the background; everyone stopped in their footsteps.’
    • ‘The jiggle of the doorknob startled him and he reached for his sword.’


Mid 19th century: partly an alteration of joggle, reinforced by jig.