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[fij-it] /ˈfɪdʒ ɪt/
verb (used without object)
to move about restlessly, nervously, or impatiently.
verb (used with object)
to cause to fidget; make uneasy.
Often, fidgets. the condition or an instance of being nervously restless, uneasy, or impatient.
Also, fidgeter. a person who fidgets.
Origin of fidget
1665-75; compare dial. fidge to fidget, akin to the synonymous expressive words fitch, fig, fike; compare Old Norse fīkjast to be eager, Old Swedish fīkja to be restless
Related forms
fidgetingly, adverb
unfidgeting, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fidget
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One evening Marie, who was sitting by her mother's side, began to fidget and complain of an uneasy sensation in her back.

  • She was looking about her on all sides, in a fidget of annoyance, searching for him, and to his dismay she saw him.

    Alice Adams Booth Tarkington
  • But he began to fidget—which was a sign that he was worried.

    The Tale of Grumpy Weasel Arthur Scott Bailey
  • Henry did not encourage romance, and she was no girl to fidget for it.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • Even the quietest of them began to fidget and strain at their head-ropes the moment they scented the water.

  • There was no impatience or desire to fidget left in Jabe Smith now.

    The House in the Water Charles G. D. Roberts
  • We shall be all right, Stan,” said Uncle Jeff heartily; “it is we who will have to fidget about you.

    Stan Lynn George Manville Fenn
  • Mr Neeld was in a fidget, a fidget of importance and expectancy.

    Tristram of Blent Anthony Hope
  • Cotherstone began to fidget with some account books and papers that he had brought from his house.

    The Borough Treasurer Joseph Smith Fletcher
British Dictionary definitions for fidget


(intransitive) to move about restlessly
(intransitive) often foll by with. to make restless or uneasy movements (with something); fiddle: he fidgeted with his pen
(transitive) to cause to fidget
(transitive) to cause to worry; make uneasy
(often pl) a state of restlessness or unease, esp as expressed in continual motion: he's got the fidgets
a person who fidgets
Derived Forms
fidgetingly, adverb
fidgety, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from earlier fidge, probably from Old Norse fīkjast to desire eagerly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fidget

1670s, as the fidget "uneasiness," later the fidgets, from a 16c. verb fidge "move restlessly," perhaps from Middle English fiken "to fidget, hasten," from Old Norse fikjask "to desire eagerly" (cf. German ficken "to move about briskly;" see fuck).


1670s (implied in fidgetting); see fidget (n.). Related: Fidgeted.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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