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  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /wɛd͡ʒ/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: wedge
  • Rhymes: -ɛd͡ʒ

Etymology 1[edit]

Middle English wegge (wedge), from Old English weċġ (wedge), from Proto-West Germanic *wagi, from Proto-Germanic *wagjaz.


wedge (countable and uncountable, plural wedges)

A wedge
Wedge in geometry.
  1. One of the simple machines; a piece of material, such as metal or wood, thick at one edge and tapered to a thin edge at the other for insertion in a narrow crevice, used for splitting, tightening, securing, or levering.
    Stick a wedge under the door, will you? It keeps blowing shut.
  2. A piece (of food, metal, wood etc.) having this shape.
    Can you cut me a wedge of cheese?
    We ordered a box of baked potato wedges with our pizza.
  3. (figurative) Something that creates a division, gap or distance between things.
    • 2013 September 28, Kenan Malik, “London Is Special, but Not That Special”, in New York Times, retrieved 28 September 2013:
      It is one of the ironies of capital cities that each acts as a symbol of its nation, and yet few are even remotely representative of it. London has always set itself apart from the rest of Britain — but political, economic and social trends are conspiring to drive that wedge deeper.
  4. (geometry) A five-sided polyhedron with a rectangular base, two rectangular or trapezoidal sides meeting in an edge, and two triangular ends.
  5. (architecture) A voussoir, one of the wedge-shaped blocks forming an arch or vault.
  6. (archaic) A flank of cavalry acting to split some portion of an opposing army, charging in an inverted V formation.
  7. A group of geese, swans, or other birds when they are in flight in a V formation.
  8. (golf) A type of iron club used for short, high trajectories.
  9. One of a pair of wedge-heeled shoes.
    • 2010, Sue Limb, Girls, Guilty But Somehow Glorious:
      She was wearing wedges, and I have a horrible suspicion they were her mum's wedges left over from the last century.
  10. (obsolete) An ingot.
  11. (obsolete, slang, uncountable, by extension) Silver or items made of silver collectively.
  12. (colloquial, British, countable, uncountable, by extension) A quantity of money.
    He's got some decent wedge. (uncountable)
    I made a big fat wedge from that job. (countable)
  13. (US, regional) A sandwich made on a long, cylindrical roll.
    I ordered a chicken parm wedge from the deli.
    • 1983, Marlene Fanta Shyer, Adorable Sunday, Scholastic:
      She hoped it wasn't a meatball wedge, because there's so much garlic in school meatballs that it might make my breath smell and knock the agent out of his chair.
    • 2019 October 10, Mark Lungariello, “It's called a wedge in Westchester: Not a hoagie, sub or a grinder”, in The Journal News[1]:
      Most people realize there are a lot of different names for that type of sandwich, so Scalone wondered what was so funny about wedge?
  14. One of the basic elements that make up cuneiform writing, a single triangular impression made with the corner of a reed stylus.
  15. Any symbol shaped like a V in some given orientation.
    1. (typography, US) A háček.
      • 1982, Thomas Pyles, John Algeo, The Origins and Development of the English Language, 3rd edition, page 49:
        The wedge is used in Czech and is illustrated by the Czech name for the diacritic, haček.
      • 1996, Geoffrey Keith Pullum, William A. Ladusaw, Phonetic Symbol Guide[2], 2nd edition, page xxvi:
        The tilde and the circumflex have a place in the ASCII scheme but the wedge and the umlaut do not.
      • 1999, Florian Coulmas, “háček”, in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems, page 193:
        The háček or ‘wedge’ ⟨ˇ⟩ is a diacritic commonly used in Slavic orthographies. [] As a tone mark the wedge is used iconically for a falling-rising tone as in Chinese Pinyin.
    2. (phonetics) The IPA character ʌ, which denotes an open-mid back unrounded vowel.
      • 1996, Geoffrey Keith Pullum, William A. Ladusaw, Phonetic Symbol Guide[3], 2nd edition, page 19:
        Turned V is referred to as “Wedge” by some phoneticians, but this seems inadvisable to us, because the haček accent (ˇ) is also called that in names like Wedge C for (č).
    3. (mathematics) The symbol , denoting a meet (infimum) operation or logical conjunction.
    4. (music) A hairpin, an elongated horizontal V-shaped sign indicating a crescendo or decrescendo.
  16. (meteorology) A barometric ridge; an elongated region of high atmospheric pressure between two low-pressure areas.
  17. (meteorology) A wedge tornado.
  18. (finance) A market trend characterized by a contracting range in prices coupled with an upward trend in prices (a rising wedge) or a downward trend in prices (a falling wedge).
  • (group of geese): skein
  • (phonetics: IPA character ʌ): turned v
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


wedge (third-person singular simple present wedges, present participle wedging, simple past and past participle wedged)

  1. (transitive) To support or secure using a wedge.
    I wedged open the window with a screwdriver.
    • 1922 October 26, Virginia Woolf, chapter 1, in Jacob’s Room, Richmond, London: [] Leonard & Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, →OCLC; republished London: The Hogarth Press, 1960, →OCLC:
      "Did he take his bottle well?" Mrs. Flanders whispered, and Rebecca nodded and went to the cot and turned down the quilt, and Mrs. Flanders bent over and looked anxiously at the baby, asleep, but frowning. The window shook, and Rebecca stole like a cat and wedged it.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To force into a narrow gap.
    He had wedged the package between the wall and the back of the sofa.
    I wedged into the alcove and listened carefully.
    • 2019 July 24, David Austin Walsh, “Flirting With Fascism”, in Jewish Currents[4]:
      During [Tucker] Carlson’s keynote, he wedged sneers at his critics for crying “racist!” in between racist remarks about [Ilhan] Omar, jeremiads against the media (“I know there’s a bunch of reporters here, so . . . screw you”), and an attack on Elizabeth Warren and her donors (“She’s a tragedy, because she’s now obsessed with racism, which is why the finance world supports her”)—all to gleeful applause.
  3. (transitive) To pack (people or animals) together tightly into a mass.
  4. (transitive) To work wet clay by cutting or kneading for the purpose of homogenizing the mass and expelling air bubbles.
  5. (computing, informal, intransitive) Of a computer program or system: to get stuck in an unresponsive state.
    My Linux kernel wedged after I installed the latest update.
  6. (transitive) To cleave with a wedge.
  7. (transitive) To force or drive with a wedge.
  8. (transitive) To shape into a wedge.
Derived terms[edit]
  • wedge up

Etymology 2[edit]

From Wedgewood, surname of the person who occupied this position on the first list of 1828.


wedge (plural wedges)

  1. (UK, Cambridge University slang) The person whose name stands lowest on the list of the classical tripos.
    • 1873, Charles Astor Bristed, Five Years in an English University:
      The last man is called the Wedge, corresponding to the Spoon in Mathematics.
See also[edit]



English wedge.



wedge m (plural wedges)

  1. (golf) wedge