From wrig + -le (frequentative suffix). Compare Dutch wriggelen (“to wriggle, squirm”), Low German wriggeln (“to wriggle”). Related to Old English wrigian (“to turn, wend, hie, go move”), from Proto-Germanic *wrigōną (“to wriggle”).
- Rhymes: -ɪɡəl
- (intransitive) To twist one's body to and fro with short, writhing motions; to squirm.
- Teachers often lose their patience when children wriggle in their seats.
- Jonathan Swift
- Both he and successors would often wriggle in their seats, as long as the cushion lasted.
1972, Carlos Castañeda, The teachings of Don Juan: a Yaqui way of knowledge, page 78:
- I tried to ease my grip, but my hands were sweating so profusely that the lizards began to wriggle out of them.
- (transitive) To cause to or make something wriggle.
- He was sitting on the lawn, wriggling his toes in the grass.
wriggle (plural wriggles)
- A wriggling movement.