v. wig·wagged, wig·wag·ging, wig·wags
1. To move back and forth; wag steadily or rhythmically: watched the pendulum wigwag.
2. To signal by waving a flag, light, or an upraised arm, especially in accordance with a code.
1. To move (something) back and forth steadily or rhythmically.
2. To convey (a message or signal) by waving a flag, light, or an upraised arm.
1. The act or practice of wigwagging.
2. A message sent by this method.
[Dialectal wig, to move + WAG1.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.