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’
    • ‘Two models that have been proposed for this higher-order structure include a regular spiral and an irregular zigzag.’
    • ‘The object flew a straight line course with no stops, starts or zigzags.’
    • ‘Rectangular cells, gently arching lines and compressed zigzags proliferate across the supports.’
    • ‘The company allowed for a zigzag rather than a linear route to the top.’
    • ‘she shows weals on her thigh, thin green lines in a short zigzag.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Lines of anger cut across her forehead - a zigzag of violent emotions.’
    • ‘Females will fly to their nests in zigzags or semi-circles to avoid leading a predator directly to the nest.’
    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
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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.’
    • ‘Have a look inside for the jazzy zigzag Norman chancel arch.’
    • ‘These small white cells form a continuous zigzag pattern that recalls a cardiogram; indeed, Kulik sees the artist as the heartbeat of society.’
    • ‘Gung-ho climbers can tackle the zigzag trail up the steep incline.’
    • ‘He initiated this possibility by manipulating versions of the liar's paradox with zigzag graphs of truth and falsehood states.’
    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
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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’
    • ‘He moved unpredictably like lightning, zigzagging towards Kitsumi in a crookedly random path.’
    • ‘He's been zigzagging across the continent for nearly 20 years, non-stop.’
    • ‘The path zigzagged through the now disused Caw Quarry, first past a stone hut and then past the opening of an old level.’
    • ‘They zigzagged along until Estrella found herself in the familiar surroundings of the underground meeting hall.’
    • ‘In April, he was loaded onto a snow-filled train that zigzagged through Germany and Czechoslovakia for three weeks.’
    • ‘I once rented a scooter and zigzagged along most of San Miguel's streets to see the neighborhoods.’
    • ‘The distance wasn't even that long, but the path zigzagged so much it doubled the walking distance.’
    • ‘The sighting happened at 2: 30 AM, and was announced by a local radio station claiming the object was zigzagging in the night sky.’
    • ‘They were on a small path that zigzagged towards an unpleasant looking cave.’
    • ‘Even with the new snow, I could see a faint trail zigzagging up the ridge.’
    • ‘Butterflies feasted on purple asters, and dragonflies zigzagged over the buttonbushes, which bore a crop of round, dry fruits.’
    • ‘At length the road became nothing more than a path, zigzagging down a crumbling mountain slope.’
    • ‘We zigzagged through Boerum Hill, turning at every corner.’
    • ‘From there we zigzagged up a sometimes steep but relatively easy path, and crossed a few patches of snow to reach the lake.’
    • ‘It took us around four hours, zigzagging down steep scree, traversing rock walls with sheer drops to one side.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We zigzagged over the whole country like crazy.’
    • ‘They zigzagged on every wall like miniscule bumper cars.’
    • ‘Sense starts zigzagging like the lightning logo bolting across Captain Marvel's costume.’
    • ‘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.’
    meander, snake, twist, twist and turn, tack, wind, weave, wander, wiggle, squiggle, undulate
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Origin

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

Pronunciation

zigzag

/ˈziɡˌzaɡ//ˈzɪɡˌzæɡ/