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


  • A quick light shake.

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


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