Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A young shoot representing the current season's growth of a woody plant.
  • n. Any small, leafless branch of a woody plant.
  • transitive v. To observe or notice.
  • transitive v. To understand or figure out: "The layman has twigged what the strategist twigged almost two decades ago” ( Manchester Guardian Weekly).
  • intransitive v. To be or become aware of the situation; understand: "As Europe is now twigging, the best breeding ground for innovators who know how to do business is often big, competitive companies” ( Economist).
  • n. Chiefly British The current style; the fashion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small thin branch of a tree or bush.
  • v. To beat with twigs.
  • v. To realise something; to 'catch on'.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small shoot or branch of a tree or other plant, of no definite length or size.
  • transitive v. To twitch; to pull; to tweak.
  • transitive v. To understand the meaning of; to comprehend; as, do you twig me?
  • transitive v. To observe slyly; also, to perceive; to discover.
  • transitive v. To beat with twigs.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To switch; beat.
  • To be vigorous or active; be energetic
  • To twitch; jerk.
  • To notice; observe narrowly; watch.
  • To comprehend; understand; perceive; discover.
  • To understand; see; “catch on.
  • n. In anatomy, one of the minute branches of a blood-vessel.
  • n. A small shoot of a tree or other plant; a small branch; a spray.
  • n. A divining-rod.
  • n. In ceramics, a thin strip of prepared clay used in modeling a pottery vessel, especially in the imitation basket work common in Leeds pottery.
  • n. A twitch; a jerk; a quick, sudden pull.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. branch out in a twiglike manner
  • n. a small branch or division of a branch (especially a terminal division); usually applied to branches of the current or preceding year
  • v. understand, usually after some initial difficulty

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English twigge; see dwo- in Indo-European roots.
Irish Gaelic tuigim, I understand, from Old Irish tuicim.
Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English twigge, from Proto-Germanic *twīgan (compare West Frisian twiich, Dutch twijg, German Zweig), from Proto-Indo-European *dwigha (compare Old Church Slavonic dvigŭ 'branch', Albanian degë 'id.'), from *dwó 'two'. More at two. (Wiktionary)
From Irish and Scots Gaelic tuig, "to understand" (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • that twiggered petite pulverized pumice. Pulverized pumice is crushed, clear crystals. Is that crystal clear?

    November 27, 2010

  • Usage example on sachets of lexicographical magic dust.

    November 27, 2010

  • I twigged it, knew it; had had the gift, might readily have prophesied it--for when I clapped my eye upon his skull I saw it.

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 39

    July 25, 2008

  • Irish slang: to understand, from the Gaelic verb "tuig", to understand

    February 23, 2007