Definition of wiggle in US English:



  • 1Move or cause to move up and down or from side to side with small rapid movements.

    with object ‘Stasia wiggled her toes’
    no object ‘my tooth was wiggling around’
    • ‘She sighed as the family pet jumped onto her feet and wiggled between her toes.’
    • ‘I wiggled my toes before moving towards the door turning on the lights and then I swung it open.’
    • ‘The Scot writhed and wiggled as much as his constraints would allow, trying to escape.’
    • ‘I wiggled my toes and I felt them move so I guess that's a good sign.’
    • ‘Every time they told her to sit still she wiggled and squirmed as much as she could.’
    • ‘She wiggled her long toes in the sunlight and I told her she ought to be careful out here.’
    • ‘Adam scrunched up his face, his tongue wiggling a loose tooth on the side of his mouth.’
    • ‘It was like wiggling milk teeth - you just can't leave it alone to drop out, you have to help it along.’
    • ‘I wait for them at the top, dangling my feet off the side of the building, wiggling my stiff toes in the air.’
    • ‘She took her shoes off then, and wiggled her toes contentedly inside her silk stockings.’
    • ‘I wiggled my toes inside my sneakers and willed the bus to wait.’
    • ‘He squirmed and wiggled free of her grip and began exploring the corners of her bed.’
    • ‘Think of a needle, heated to a glowing red heat, plunged deep into your joints and then jiggled and wiggled about for your amusement.’
    • ‘She squirmed and wiggled around a little and was able to shake the blanket off.’
    • ‘He gave a mighty pull and - look there - wiggling on the end of his tweezers was my beautiful nerve ending.’
    • ‘He lifted his bare foot, wiggling all of his toes in her face mockingly.’
    • ‘Lindbergh made them laugh by wiggling his ears and his shoes were so big that they put puppets in them at night.’
    • ‘Perhaps a person could control the response by wiggling a toe or moving a finger that has nanosensors embedded in it.’
    • ‘I fidgeted a little, slipping my rings between my fingers and wiggling my toes inside my sneakers.’
    • ‘She stood there for a second, wiggling her toes into the fine sand, and inhaling the clean salty breeze.’
    jiggle, wriggle, twitch, flutter, shimmy, joggle, wag, wobble, shake, twist, squirm, writhe, wave, quiver, jerk, bobble
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1wiggle out of Avoid (something), especially by devious means.
      ‘they're trying to wiggle out of their agreement’
      • ‘And California will get no federal help wiggling out of the expensive long-term contracts signed by Davis.’
      • ‘How many tight situations have you wiggled out of?’
      • ‘The Braves wiggled out of the jam and eventually won the game.’
      • ‘See if she can wiggle out of this one without getting grounded for life.’
      • ‘Let's see how the Tech brass wiggles out of this one.’
      • ‘You proposed, and I'm not letting you wiggle out of it now!’
      • ‘Now here's this direct challenge, and don't try to wiggle out of it.’
      • ‘If the airline industry is able to wiggle out of its pension obligations, this will set a precedent for companies across the country to follow suit, leaving retired workers who thought they had a secure income out to dry.’
      • ‘It makes you wonder, just a bit, if RIM has had second thoughts and is trying to wiggle out of the agreement.’
      • ‘Ever since, the government has been dreaming up ways of wiggling out of this commitment.’
      • ‘I love the children, but there's no way I can wiggle out of this one.’
      • ‘Enough of celebrities using carefully worded phrases to wiggle out of responsibility for awful conduct.’
      • ‘What is amazing is some of the answers I get from smokers as they try to wiggle out of the desperate situation they find themselves in, as if one could extricate oneself from a barbwire coffin without receiving a scratch.’
      • ‘They want him incarcerated for a long time, and they don't want him to be able to wiggle out of it.’


  • 1A wiggling movement.

    ‘a slight wiggle of the hips’
    • ‘She led the way with her sexy wiggle without looking back to see if the client was following her or not.’
    • ‘In retrospect, Presley's wiggles seem perfectly suited to a medium that showed the movements and performance styles that radio listeners could only imagine.’
    • ‘I can't bump any more but I can manage a sedate wiggle providing it doesn't go on too long.’
    • ‘You know, down to the last wiggle of the hips, and down to every kind of expression of character and socialbility and her interests and all.’
    • ‘And not even the infamous wiggle of his Cleopatra can compare to his passion for golf.’
    • ‘Our generation's pseudo-hip-hop air jabbing and furtive wiggles just didn't hack it.’
    • ‘Ahmed guides us through the flat, desolate landscape with a complicated series of frenzied taps, hand wiggles and screams (we can only assume this is delight at our driving).’
    • ‘She tosses her head and glances over her shoulder to her Master, playfully adding a wiggle to her step.’
    • ‘Each of Lydia's scenes with Diana is a battle of the dialogue-punctuating butt wiggles.’
    • ‘With a quick wiggle of his hips he told the hundred or so in attendance that it was a combination of Lismore's strong love message and his desire to start in the race walk.’
    • ‘He still shows up opponents with his belly-shaking, fist-flailing ‘Walker Wiggle,’ though the wiggles come less frequently now.’
    • ‘No person could say that she moved in a suggestive manner, but the tiny wiggle of her hips was completely and absolutely sensual.’
    • ‘‘I might have written a poem about the Queen Mother's 100th birthday, but it wouldn't have been at all proper,’ he says with a cheeky wiggle of the eyebrows.’
    • ‘If you can't get up, do a series of in-seat exercises like toe wiggles, ankle rotations, knee lifts and shoulder shrugs.’
    • ‘John motioned with a wiggle of his brows towards Lace's swaying bottom as she moved down the steps.’
    • ‘If one overacts, the other has to add even more eyebrow wiggles and long, hard staring to top him.’
    • ‘I responded by tucking the cover in too tightly for your wiggle.’
    • ‘Hence blondes, without even casting a come-hither glance or a wiggle of their child-rearing hips on the dance floor, appear more fertile to men simply by their natural colouring.’
    • ‘The blink of an eye, the wiggle of a thumb, the touch of a lobe, and thousands of pounds move from one account into another, the auctioneer's gavel, like a referee's whistle, the final arbiter.’
    • ‘She straightened to her full height (she barely came to Priss' shoulder) and gave her shoulders a wiggle of importance.’
    1. 1.1 A deviation in a line.
      ‘a wiggle on a chart’
      • ‘Another rounding error, another ‘journalistic rationale’ for the wiggles in the market chart.’
      • ‘It showed only a slight wiggle when rotated into vertical mode.’
      • ‘If ever there was a lesson in following company fundamentals, investing for the long term, and ignoring the nonsense spouted about hot sectors, new economies, and wiggles in the share price chart, Logica is surely it.’
      • ‘He then mathematically superimposed additional wiggles and shifts representing the movements of the lunar perigee and nodes to bring this main, smooth loop closer to the moon's true orbit.’
      • ‘The artist combines elegant lines, wiggles and pointillism to create an atmosphere of surreal spaces surrounding the character.’


  • get a wiggle on

    • informal Get moving; hurry.

      • ‘Treasurer stuff is another matter, and he'll need to get a wiggle on to make up for his silly remarks on the Industry Commission in his maiden speech back in 1993 and build up the economic cred Labor is going to need.’
      • ‘The commission asked the legislators to get a wiggle on, start making changes now.’
      • ‘We need to look at the Waterberg and the Free State and, if Sasol doesn't get a wiggle on, the good news is that the Canadians want to put up a coal-to-liquids plant on the South African border.’
      • ‘If we're going to get this little chap Permission To Remain from our Head Mopple and do our bit at Full Muster we need to get a wiggle on.’
      • ‘My start time was at 8: 30, so I had to get a wiggle on and give my bike it's shake down cruise to make sure all was well mechanically with it.’
      be quick, hurry up, move quickly, go fast, hasten, make haste, speed, speed up, lose no time, press on, push on, run, dash, rush, hurtle, dart, race, fly, flash, shoot, streak, bolt, bound, blast, charge, chase, career, scurry, scramble, scamper, scuttle, sprint, gallop, go hell for leather, go like lightning
      View synonyms


Middle English: from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch wiggelen (frequentative).