Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To move back and forth with quick irregular motions: The gelatin wiggled on the plate.
  • intransitive v. To move or proceed with a twisting or turning motion; wriggle: wiggled restlessly in her chair; wiggled through the crowd.
  • intransitive v. To insinuate or extricate oneself by sly or subtle means: wiggled out of a social engagement.
  • transitive v. To cause to move back and forth with quick irregular motions: wiggle a loose tooth.
  • transitive v. To make (one's way, for example) by or as if by wiggling: The pitcher wiggled his way out of a jam.
  • n. A wiggling movement or course.
  • idiom get a wiggle on Slang To hurry or hurry up.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To move with irregular, back and forward or side to side motions; To shake or jiggle.
  • n. A wiggling movement.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Act of wiggling; a wriggle.
  • v. To move to and fro with a quick, jerking motion; to bend rapidly, or with a wavering motion, from side to side; to wag; to squirm; to wriggle

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To waggle; wabble; wriggle.
  • n. A waggling or wriggling motion.

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

  • v. move to and fro
  • n. the act of wiggling

Etymologies

Middle English wiglen, probably from Middle Low German wiggelen, to totter; see wegh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English wiglen, possibly from Middle Dutch or Old English (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • “Every deal contains a certain amount of what my son likes to call wiggle room.”

    The Black Madonna

  • DEFENSE SECRETARY: Well, there is some so - called wiggle room as such in terms of the flexibility.

    CNN Transcript Feb 27, 2009

  • For though the whole fire had not been put out, a good bit of it had, and what remained smelled very largely of burnt Marsh-wiggle, which is not at all an enchanting smell.

    The Silver Chair

  • Laughing Squid reports that the video uses a technique called wiggle stereoscopy, which films sequences with two cameras, slightly offset from one another.

    Tom's hardware UK

  • The new lane will be striped on Scott Street, between Oak and Fell streets, a one-block stretch that is part of what is called the wiggle bike route connecting Market Street to the Panhandle that takes cyclists on a less-than-direct path so they can avoid a grueling hill on Haight Street.

    SFGate: Top News Stories

  • Lipmann extended our understanding of bioenergetics by formulating the concept of the ATP metabolic wheel and introducing his famous "wiggle" (~P) to represent the bonds of high energy phosphate derivatives.

    Otto Meyerhof and the Physiology Institute: the Birth of Modern Biochemistry

  • So most builder contracts contain "wiggle" language that mentions when completion is expected, but protects the builder from liability if the delivery date isn't met sometimes for as long as two years.

    Recourse When Home Builder Is Delayed?

  • But for obvious reasons, suicide doesn't allow this kind of wiggle room, so this rationalization fails and you're pretty much screwed.

    An Unanswered Question on the Economics of Suicide, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • On second thought, "Wiggle Dress" might also apply to the fact that one has to "wiggle" into them.

    Cleaning Out My Closet, Part 1 - A Dress A Day

  • Mr. Lundgaard spent evenings hunched over his espresso machine, studying exemplars on YouTube and rehearsing his "wiggle," the back and forth motion of the hand pouring milk.

    Foam Sweet Foam: 'Latte Art'

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