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  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /wɛdʒ/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: wedge
  • Rhymes: -ɛdʒ

Etymology 1[edit]

Middle English wegge (wedge), from Old English wecg (wedge), from Proto-Germanic *wagjaz.


wedge (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. (geometry) A five-sided polyhedron with a rectangular base, two rectangular or trapezoidal sides meeting in an edge, and two triangular ends.
  4. (figuratively) Something that creates a division, gap or distance between things.
    • 2013 September 28, Kenan Malik, "London Is Special, but Not That Special," 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.
  5. (archaic) A flank of cavalry acting to split some portion of an opposing army, charging in an inverted V formation.
  6. (golf) A type of iron club used for short, high trajectories.
  7. A group of geese, swans or other birds when they are in flight in a V formation.
  8. 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.
  9. (colloquial, Britain) A quantity of money.
    I made a big fat wedge from that job.
  10. (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?
  11. (typography, US) háček
    • 1982, Thomas Pyles and John Algeo, The Origins and Development of the English Language (3rd ed.), page 49
      The wedge is used in Czech and is illustrated by the Czech name for the diacritic, haček.
    • 1996, Geoffrey Keith Pullum and William A. Ladusaw, Phonetic Symbol Guide (2nd ed.), 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, The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems, page 193, “háček”
      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.
  12. (phonetics) The IPA character ʌ, which denotes an open-mid back unrounded vowel.
    • 1996, Geoffrey Keith Pullum and William A. Ladusaw, Phonetic Symbol Guide (2nd ed.), 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).
  13. (mathematics) The symbol , denoting a meet (infimum) operation or logical conjunction.
  14. (meteorology) A wedge tornado.
  15. (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, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. 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, Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room Chapter 1
      "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[2]:
      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 work wet clay by cutting or kneading for the purpose of homogenizing the mass and expelling air bubbles.
  4. (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.
  5. (transitive) To cleave with a wedge.
  6. (transitive) To force or drive with a wedge.
  7. (transitive) To shape into a wedge.

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

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


wedge (plural wedges)

  1. (Britain, 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]