v. wrig·gled, wrig·gling, wrig·gles
1. To turn or twist the body or a body part with writhing motions: The rabbit's nose wriggled.
2. To move or proceed with writhing motions: wriggle into a sleeping bag; wriggled out of his grasp.
1. To move with a wriggling motion: wriggle a toe.
2. To make (one's way, for example) by or as if by wriggling: He wriggled his way into her good graces.
A wriggling movement.
wriggle out of
To extricate oneself from (an undesirable situation or responsibility, for example) by sly or subtle means: wriggled out of a jam.
[Middle English wrigglen, perhaps from Middle Low German wriggeln; see wer-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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.