Definition of squirm in English:

squirm

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 Wriggle or twist the body from side to side, especially as a result of nervousness or discomfort.

    ‘all my efforts to squirm out of his grasp were useless’
    • ‘She tried to pick him up but he was squirming and twisting to lick her face so much that she had to set him down.’
    • ‘Noelle didn't squirm or fidget, but she appeared uncomfortable.’
    • ‘The Wolf girl was grunting and squirming, her body wiggling from side to side.’
    • ‘As if sensing his discomfort, the baby squirmed with an alarming vitality.’
    • ‘I shouted, squirming and twisting my arm, trying to get it out of his grip.’
    • ‘Peering out past the bank, I could see our three shapes in the water, twisting and squirming in the current.’
    • ‘I could hardly keep still, squirming and wriggling all the time.’
    • ‘She paused and studied him for a long moment until he finally squirmed in discomfort.’
    • ‘Helen grasped the young cat tightly in her arms, where it began to squirm nervously.’
    • ‘I lay there on the wood floors of my kitchen, squirming, as my body wanted to run itself against a wall.’
    • ‘They were lying utterly still or squirming in discomfort, some cradling injured arms.’
    • ‘He squirmed and wriggled, ignoring the pain I know he must be feeling.’
    • ‘I squirmed on the uncomfortable seat, trying to work some feeling back into my numb tailbone.’
    • ‘His body squirmed and screamed like it was too fragile for his heavy soul.’
    • ‘Johnny was refusing to eat his Cheerios and was squirming in his chair as his mother tried to feed him.’
    • ‘Strapped in their car seats, children make nightmarish passengers, wriggling, squirming and whining.’
    • ‘Befuddled by heat and sleep, she'd twist and squirm to pull on her modesty bestowing chador and headscarf.’
    • ‘A technician discovered the dead rodent and believes it had squirmed into the body of the PC to keep warm.’
    • ‘He gently took out a small bundle that began to squirm.’
    • ‘The child wriggled and squirmed, trying to pull himself out of their grasp.’
    wriggle, wiggle, writhe, twist, slide, slither, turn, shift, fidget, jiggle, twitch, thresh, flounder, flail, toss and turn
    agonize
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Show or feel embarrassment or shame.
      • ‘Admit it - deep down inside us plods patronisingly known as ‘the public’ love to see the rich and famous squirm.’
      • ‘I'll not mention the fact that I could actually hear the audience squirm with every failed delivery.’
      • ‘Let us not delight in making others squirm by humiliating or embarrassing them in public.’
      • ‘They went quite well, she blushed, and then squirmed as she was asked what ‘quite well’ actually meant.’
      • ‘Christy gave a guilty squirm and immediately put her mind in full reverse, attempting to block out the next few sentences.’
      • ‘Politicians make for an unedifying spectacle when they are cattle-prodded by party policy into squirming and writhing in unison.’
      • ‘The mistreatment of child orphans, the poor and the women in this era is viscerally staged, making the audience squirm agonizingly in their seats.’
      • ‘The first debate question ever posed to fledgling presidential candidate Wesley Clark was one that might have made a practiced politician squirm.’
      • ‘Making an audience squirm at provocative sex has nothing necessarily to do with encouraging thought.’
      • ‘Frankie Dettori squirms when recalling the moment his credibility as a top class jockey was brought into question.’
      • ‘And yet he goes and lumbers his latest outfit with a name to make you wince and squirm: Incognico.’
      • ‘But if going into stores that carry smaller sizes truly makes her squirm, don't beg her to go in.’
      • ‘Commenting on the report, Coun Stoddard said: ‘There are things in here which I know would make people in certain areas of my ward squirm.’’
      • ‘Watching a Mayo team squirm in defeat is indeed a welcome sight.’
      • ‘Now it was Gabe's turn to squirm and blush as crimson as roses.’
      • ‘From where Solomon stood, he could see several of the folk squirm in response to having lost all excretory control.’
      • ‘For various practical and cultural reasons, religion makes the media squirm more than any other subject.’
      • ‘This site will make your boss squirm as it lets you compare your salary with others in similar jobs as well as your colleagues.’
      • ‘This wasn't supposed to happen - the plan was to make the boss squirm as he continued to act straight.’
      • ‘This was very funny stuff, much of it excruciatingly so - straight out of the theatre of embarrassment - making viewers squirm as well as laugh.’
      wince, blush, flush, go red
      View synonyms

noun

  • [in singular] A wriggling movement.

    • ‘The dragon made a supreme squirm and got away from his captor.’
    • ‘The unconscious girl gave a slight squirm in the warmth of Kashiro's embrace.’
    • ‘At its base a short squirm and section of stooping passage brings one to the first of the major features of the cave, the Canal.’
    • ‘Tanj did her best to shrug, a motion that came out as a squirm more than anything.’
    • ‘His first reaction was a squirm of embarrassment.’
    • ‘She caught his shocked look and tried to hide a squirm.’
    • ‘The average foreigner is a tortured soul, trying desperately to discern any logic in the squirms and squiggles of an Indian road map.’
    • ‘The letter gives rise to a pleasurable squirm, somewhere deep in my stomach.’
    • ‘This music is slightly denser, though, and the little squirms of static that bubble up now and then help to unsettle the music even more.’
    • ‘Cerise smiles that annoying smile, doing the coy squirm.’
    • ‘Still, even while driving in and out of Irish potholes, you'll hear no squeak or feel no squirm from the structure or fittings.’
    • ‘Too many film-makers want the scream of shock at a big moment but forget that the real pleasure is the squirms and screams that come in the build up.’
    • ‘Okay, so the album's not a step forward so much as a squirm in quicksand.’
    • ‘The other twin let out another squeal followed by a squirm.’
    • ‘Li'l Bhaji gives one more satisfied squirm and dozes off looking incredibly smug.’

Origin

Late 17th century: symbolic of writhing movement; probably associated with worm.

Pronunciation:

squirm

/skwərm/