American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To move back and forth; wag steadily or rhythmically: watched the pendulum wigwag.
- v. To signal by waving an upraised arm, flag, or light, especially in accordance with a code.
- v. To move (something) back and forth steadily or rhythmically.
- v. To convey (a message or signal) by waving an upraised arm, a flag, or a light.
- n. The act or practice of wigwagging.
- n. A message sent by this method.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To move to and fro; specifically, to signal by movements of flags.
- Writhing, wriggling, or twisting.
- n. A rubbing instrument used by watchmakers. It is attached by a crank to a wheel of a lathe, which gives it a longitudinal movement of reciprocation.
- n. Signaling by the movements of flags: as, to practise the wigwag.
- To and fro; with wiggling motion: as, to go wigwag back and forth.
- n. Any of a number of mechanical or electrical devices which cause a component to oscillate between two states.
- v. to oscillate between two states.
- v. to send a signal by waving a single flag.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. (Naut.), colloq. To signal by means of a flag waved from side to side according to a code adopted for the purpose.
- v. To move to and fro, to wag.
- n. Act or art of wigwagging; a message wigwagged; -- chiefly attributive.
- v. signal by or as if by a flag or light waved according to a code
- v. send a signal by waving a flag or a light according to a certain code
- Dialectal wig, to move + wag1. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Myer is heralded as the father of the corps because of his nomination and his invention of the colored flag-based signaling system called "wigwag" -- named after the back-and-forth motion of the flags used to create the messages.”
“You're up in all that kind of wigwag signal work, and perhaps now you could tell what it means.”
“Unlike the "wigwag" system, the whole letter is shown at once.”
“A "wigwag" flag may be easily made by sewing a white square of muslin in the centre of a red bandana handkerchief.”
“The absence of the "wigwag" system made it impossible to convey intelligible messages.”
“A burst of static obscured the end of an obscene Polish remark, and Rakoczy flew off with a wigwag of farewell.”
“The dragon came close enough to recognize them, did a wings wigwag, and flew away.”
“The best he could do was send a man up into an exposed position to make wigwag semaphore signals to Derfflinger astern, to pass the news along.”
“Yet I know and you know people who blunder through life trying to wigwag other people into becoming interested in them.”
“Men with wigwag flags and mirrors communicated with Sartain and the satellite fortresses, bringing them to maximum readiness.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘wigwag’.
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