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wag +‎ -le ((frequentative)). Compare continental equivalents Middle High German wacken ( > Danish vakle, German wackeln), Swedish vagla, West Frisian waggelje, Low German wackeln, Dutch waggelen.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈwaɡəl/
    • (file)
    Rhymes: -æɡəl


waggle (third-person singular simple present waggles, present participle waggling, simple past and past participle waggled)

  1. (transitive) To move (something) with short, quick motions; to wobble.
    • 1908: Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
      The Mole waggled his toes from sheer happiness, spread his chest with a sigh of full contentment, and leaned back blissfully into the soft cushions.
  2. (intransitive) To reel, sway, or move from side to side; to move with a wagging motion; to waddle.
    • c. 1598, William Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing, Act II, Scene 1,[1]
      I know you by the waggling of your head.
    • 1692, Roger L’Estrange, Fables of Æsop and other Eminent Mythologists: with Morals and Reflections, 8th edition, London: A. Bettesworth et. al., 1738, Anianus’s Fables, Fab. 222, p. 239,[2]
      Why do you go Nodding and Waggling so like a Fool, as if you were Hipshot? says the Goose to her Gosselin.
    • 1942, Emily Carr, The Book of Small, “British Columbia Nightingale,”[3]
      The tassel on the end of his pigtail waggled all down the path and, as he turned out of the gate, it gave a special little flip.

Derived terms[edit]



waggle (plural waggles)

  1. A wobbling motion.
  2. (golf) The preliminary swinging of the club head back and forth over the ball in the line of the proposed stroke.