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’
    • ‘He lifted his bare foot, wiggling all of his toes in her face mockingly.’
    • ‘She sighed as the family pet jumped onto her feet and wiggled between her toes.’
    • ‘Think of a needle, heated to a glowing red heat, plunged deep into your joints and then jiggled and wiggled about for your amusement.’
    • ‘I wait for them at the top, dangling my feet off the side of the building, wiggling my stiff toes in the air.’
    • ‘It was like wiggling milk teeth - you just can't leave it alone to drop out, you have to help it along.’
    • ‘I wiggled my toes inside my sneakers and willed the bus to wait.’
    • ‘Adam scrunched up his face, his tongue wiggling a loose tooth on the side of his mouth.’
    • ‘She squirmed and wiggled around a little and was able to shake the blanket off.’
    • ‘She wiggled her long toes in the sunlight and I told her she ought to be careful out here.’
    • ‘I wiggled my toes and I felt them move so I guess that's a good sign.’
    • ‘She took her shoes off then, and wiggled her toes contentedly inside her silk stockings.’
    • ‘He gave a mighty pull and - look there - wiggling on the end of his tweezers was my beautiful nerve ending.’
    • ‘Lindbergh made them laugh by wiggling his ears and his shoes were so big that they put puppets in them at night.’
    • ‘I wiggled my toes before moving towards the door turning on the lights and then I swung it open.’
    • ‘Perhaps a person could control the response by wiggling a toe or moving a finger that has nanosensors embedded in it.’
    • ‘Every time they told her to sit still she wiggled and squirmed as much as she could.’
    • ‘I fidgeted a little, slipping my rings between my fingers and wiggling my toes inside my sneakers.’
    • ‘The Scot writhed and wiggled as much as his constraints would allow, trying to escape.’
    • ‘She stood there for a second, wiggling her toes into the fine sand, and inhaling the clean salty breeze.’
    • ‘He squirmed and wiggled free of her grip and began exploring the corners of her bed.’
    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’
      • ‘See if she can wiggle out of this one without getting grounded for life.’
      • ‘The Braves wiggled out of the jam and eventually won the game.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Let's see how the Tech brass wiggles out of this one.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘How many tight situations have you wiggled out of?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ever since, the government has been dreaming up ways of wiggling out of this commitment.’
      • ‘And California will get no federal help wiggling out of the expensive long-term contracts signed by Davis.’
      • ‘It makes you wonder, just a bit, if RIM has had second thoughts and is trying to wiggle out of the agreement.’
      • ‘Now here's this direct challenge, and don't try to wiggle out of it.’
      • ‘You proposed, and I'm not letting you wiggle out of it now!’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘John motioned with a wiggle of his brows towards Lace's swaying bottom as she moved down the steps.’
    • ‘She straightened to her full height (she barely came to Priss' shoulder) and gave her shoulders a wiggle of importance.’
    • ‘And not even the infamous wiggle of his Cleopatra can compare to his passion for golf.’
    • ‘She led the way with her sexy wiggle without looking back to see if the client was following her or not.’
    • ‘Each of Lydia's scenes with Diana is a battle of the dialogue-punctuating butt wiggles.’
    • ‘Our generation's pseudo-hip-hop air jabbing and furtive wiggles just didn't hack it.’
    • ‘If you can't get up, do a series of in-seat exercises like toe wiggles, ankle rotations, knee lifts and shoulder shrugs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘If one overacts, the other has to add even more eyebrow wiggles and long, hard staring to top him.’
    • ‘She tosses her head and glances over her shoulder to her Master, playfully adding a wiggle to her step.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He still shows up opponents with his belly-shaking, fist-flailing ‘Walker Wiggle,’ though the wiggles come less frequently now.’
    • ‘I can't bump any more but I can manage a sedate wiggle providing it doesn't go on too long.’
    • ‘I responded by tucking the cover in too tightly for your wiggle.’
    • ‘In retrospect, Presley's wiggles seem perfectly suited to a medium that showed the movements and performance styles that radio listeners could only imagine.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 A deviation in a line.
      ‘a wiggle on a chart’
      • ‘The artist combines elegant lines, wiggles and pointillism to create an atmosphere of surreal spaces surrounding the character.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Another rounding error, another ‘journalistic rationale’ for the wiggles in the market chart.’
      • ‘It showed only a slight wiggle when rotated into vertical mode.’


  • get a wiggle on

    • informal Get moving; hurry.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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).