Definitions

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

  • n. One of a series of sharp turns or reversals: The zigs and zags of foreign policy.
  • intransitive v. To turn or change direction suddenly. Usually used in contrast to zag: When your opponent zigs, zag!
  • intransitive v. To behave erratically or indecisively. Usually used with zag: The market has zigged and zagged for months.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sudden or sharp turn or change of direction.
  • v. To make such a turn.

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

  • n. an angular shape characterized by sharp turns in alternating directions

Etymologies

From zigzag.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • One knits a rectangular strip, about 3 wide, and attaches it to a bib thing in zig-zag fashion, overlapping itself.

    Jean's Knitting

  • The Crash of 1929 and the Depression marked the next zag, followed by the longterm zig sparked by the New Deal and the host of social legislation that went with it.

    Mark Olmsted: Taking Comfort in the Zig-Zagging of American History

  • The figures of these men and women straggled past the flower-bed with a curiously irregular movement not unlike that of the white and blue butterflies who crossed the turf in zig-zag flights from bed to bed.

    Monday or Tuesday

  • The road down the mountain wound constantly, and we travelled in short, zig-zag lines, in order to avoid the extremely abrupt declivities; but occasionally, we were compelled to descend in places that made us pause before making the attempt: they were, some of them, almost perpendicular, and our horses would frequently slide several yards, before they could recover.

    Townsend Chapter 9

  • This plant is called the zig-zag golden-rod because its stem often turns first one way and then the other, as if it hadn't made up its mind which way to grow.

    Some Summer Days in Iowa

  • When sailing the down wind leg of a race you don't sail directly down wind, you actually tack slightly that is to say zig zag as this allows you travel faster than the wind.

    Boing Boing

  • _artichoke_, but better known as a zig-zag cracker; "if they do not understand English, perhaps they may comprehend pyrotechnics."

    Willis the Pilot

  • ‘E was kind of zig-zagging across the pavement, and I bumps into ’im accidental-like.

    Nineteen Eighty-four

  • It's not a big deal, but you do this kind of zig zagging often enough -- and McCain has done it a LOT -- and you sort of undercut your "Experience" and "Steadiness at the Helm" arguments.

    My 2008 Political Post

  • Then we kind of zig-zagged around till g.w. ... that's when we ran off the cliff.

    Nancy & Harry: Comedic Duo Bring Down the House (and Senate)

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