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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Strong winds make it twist, jiggle and dance, hum, sing and scream like a banshee.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘Come on’, he coaxes, with a devilish little grin while his fingers jiggle in your sides, ‘who's the best?’’
    • ‘The door handle began to jiggle and Coran quickly reached out and gripped it to try to stop it from opening.’
    • ‘I snorted back a giggle at the way the ring jiggled when he moved his eyebrow like that.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Also, I suspect that nuns don't usually jiggle like that when they dance.’
    • ‘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 first layer is ready when it is golden brown, or when it does not jiggle / move when you take it out of the oven.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The fat that jiggles when you move, on the hips, thighs and tummy, isn't the problem.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His leg jiggled involuntarily, and he clamped it.’
    • ‘Looking up when the doorknob jiggled I panicked, jerking up and flushing the toilet quickly.’
    • ‘They walk away with a look of feigned understanding while I jiggle away, belly and double chin and all.’
    • ‘If you looked very closely you could actually see Courtney's jowls and flabby chin jiggling violently when he went for the big notes.’
    • ‘Metro drivers spend the day jiggling in air-conditioned cabins, sitting on fold-down chairs small enough to persuade many to stand.’
    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’
      • ‘I just stood in the drizzle, jiggling my keys in my hand as I watched him peel out of the parking lot.’
      • ‘Amber stood beside her jiggling her car keys, ‘Ri, you ready to go?’’
      • ‘But they're really jiggling the plug in the socket.’
      • ‘He doesn't try to crawl into its packed depths; he just enjoys running his paw under the door and jiggling it open.’
      • ‘There are reminiscences of ‘Neily’ leaping about in his playpen, jiggling his diaper to a boogie-woogie 78.’
      • ‘‘Thanks,’ she replied jiggling the keys in her hand.’
      • ‘She jiggled the key and finally, the knob turned.’
      • ‘The vampire shook his arms, jiggling the shackles.’
      • ‘He jiggles the key in the lock on the front door, trying to persuade the tumblers to shift, which they finally do, reluctantly.’
      • ‘She sits for a long time on the hood of her car, jiggling her heels against the bumper.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And he is consistently jiggling the chessboard slightly, so that the pieces are vibrating around.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After a warm-up, we learn how to shake our upper bodies while jiggling our hips, which is not an easy feat.’
      • ‘Ian jiggled the key desperately, glancing back at the fire exit.’
      • ‘He grasped the toast from the toaster, gently jiggling them in his little hands, as it was still a little hot.’
      • ‘His hand wrapped carefully around the handle and jiggled it lightly.’
      • ‘A few hours later Greg came to find me outside, my hands jiggling the cigarette I was using to try and calm me down.’
      • ‘It took a moment to jiggle the badly-cut key in my door, but eventually I managed to open it.’
      shake, jig, joggle, jog, waggle, wiggle
      View synonyms


  • A quick light shake.

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


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