Definition of zigzag in US English:

zigzag

noun

  • 1A line or course having abrupt alternate right and left turns.

    ‘she traced a zigzag on the metal with her finger’
    • ‘Rectangular cells, gently arching lines and compressed zigzags proliferate across the supports.’
    • ‘The police are having to take positive action in a bid to stop parents dropping off or picking up their children on the zigzag lines outside three more schools.’
    • ‘The object flew a straight line course with no stops, starts or zigzags.’
    • ‘Two models that have been proposed for this higher-order structure include a regular spiral and an irregular zigzag.’
    • ‘Females will fly to their nests in zigzags or semi-circles to avoid leading a predator directly to the nest.’
    • ‘she shows weals on her thigh, thin green lines in a short zigzag.’
    • ‘The company allowed for a zigzag rather than a linear route to the top.’
    • ‘Lines of anger cut across her forehead - a zigzag of violent emotions.’
    1. 1.1 A turn on a zigzag course.
      ‘the road descends in a series of sharp zigzags’
      curve, turn, corner, kink, angle, arc, crescent, twist, crook, deviation, deflection, loop
      View synonyms

adjective

  • Having the form of a zigzag; veering to right and left alternately.

    ‘when chased by a predator, some animals take a zigzag course’
    • ‘For very bulky sweater knits, serge-finish the raw edges, then seam with a narrow to medium zigzag stitch.’
    • ‘Gung-ho climbers can tackle the zigzag trail up the steep incline.’
    • ‘Have a look inside for the jazzy zigzag Norman chancel arch.’
    • ‘He initiated this possibility by manipulating versions of the liar's paradox with zigzag graphs of truth and falsehood states.’
    • ‘These small white cells form a continuous zigzag pattern that recalls a cardiogram; indeed, Kulik sees the artist as the heartbeat of society.’
    meandering, zigzagging, snaking, snaky, winding, wiggly, squiggly, crooked, tacking, twisting, twisty, full of twists and turns, curving, curvy, wavy, deviating, undulating, sinuous, serpentine, tortuous, irregular
    View synonyms

adverb

  • So as to move right and left alternately.

    ‘she drives zigzag across the city’

verb

[no object]
  • Have or move along in a zigzag course.

    ‘the path zigzagged between dry rises in the land’
    • ‘At length the road became nothing more than a path, zigzagging down a crumbling mountain slope.’
    • ‘He's been zigzagging across the continent for nearly 20 years, non-stop.’
    • ‘The distance wasn't even that long, but the path zigzagged so much it doubled the walking distance.’
    • ‘Butterflies feasted on purple asters, and dragonflies zigzagged over the buttonbushes, which bore a crop of round, dry fruits.’
    • ‘We zigzagged over the whole country like crazy.’
    • ‘I once rented a scooter and zigzagged along most of San Miguel's streets to see the neighborhoods.’
    • ‘They zigzagged along until Estrella found herself in the familiar surroundings of the underground meeting hall.’
    • ‘The sighting happened at 2: 30 AM, and was announced by a local radio station claiming the object was zigzagging in the night sky.’
    • ‘We zigzagged through Boerum Hill, turning at every corner.’
    • ‘For two weeks he sat on a bus that zigzagged along the eastern seaboard picking up other criminals who were being reassigned from one jail to another.’
    • ‘Half an hour later, Willie's nose zigzagged up a rise onto level patch of sun where, a hundred years ago, a house had stood.’
    • ‘From there we zigzagged up a sometimes steep but relatively easy path, and crossed a few patches of snow to reach the lake.’
    • ‘The path zigzagged through the now disused Caw Quarry, first past a stone hut and then past the opening of an old level.’
    • ‘Even with the new snow, I could see a faint trail zigzagging up the ridge.’
    • ‘They zigzagged on every wall like miniscule bumper cars.’
    • ‘It took us around four hours, zigzagging down steep scree, traversing rock walls with sheer drops to one side.’
    • ‘Sense starts zigzagging like the lightning logo bolting across Captain Marvel's costume.’
    • ‘He moved unpredictably like lightning, zigzagging towards Kitsumi in a crookedly random path.’
    • ‘They were on a small path that zigzagged towards an unpleasant looking cave.’
    • ‘In April, he was loaded onto a snow-filled train that zigzagged through Germany and Czechoslovakia for three weeks.’
    meander, snake, twist, twist and turn, tack, wind, weave, wander, wiggle, squiggle, undulate
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 18th century: from French, from German Zickzack, symbolic of alternation of direction, first applied to fortifications.

Pronunciation

zigzag

/ˈziɡˌzaɡ//ˈzɪɡˌzæɡ/