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From Middle English wiglen, probably from Middle Dutch wigelen (to wiggle) and perhaps Middle Low German wigelen, frequentative of wiegen (to rock), from wiege (cradle).[1] See wain, and Dutch wieg (cradle).

Cognate to Dutch wiggelen (to wiggle).


  • IPA(key): /ˈwɪɡəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪɡəl
  • Hyphenation: wig‧gle


wiggle (third-person singular simple present wiggles, present participle wiggling, simple past and past participle wiggled)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To move with irregular, back and forward or side to side motions; To shake or jiggle.
    Her hips wiggle as she walks.
    The jelly wiggles on the plate when you move it.
    • 1992, “Jump”, performed by Kris Kross:
      I'll make ya bump, hump, wiggle and shake your rump
    • 2012, Stephen King, 11/22/63, page 788:
      "These modern dances!" he grunted, grabbing his smokes. "They don't do nothing but teach the kids how to bump n wiggle."



wiggle (plural wiggles)

  1. A rapid movement in alternating opposite directions, not necessarily regular.
    She walked with a sexy wiggle.
  2. (figurative) An alternating state or characteristic. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  3. (in the plural) See wiggles.


Derived terms[edit]

Terms derived from the noun or verb wiggle


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2024) “wiggle”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.