Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[skwurm] /skwɜrm/
verb (used without object)
to wriggle or writhe.
to feel or display discomfort or distress, as from reproof, embarrassment, pain, etc.:
He squirmed under the judge's questioning.
the act of squirming; a squirming or wriggling movement.
Origin of squirm
1685-95; of expressive orig., perhaps echoing worm
Related forms
squirmer, noun
squirmingly, adverb
unsquirming, adjective
1. turn, twist. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for squirm
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Having imparted this information to Luisa the unhappy woman began to roll her eyes and squirm.

    The Patriot Antonio Fogazzaro
  • I wanted to tell you and have the fun of watchin' you squirm.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • One of the mittened hands moved slightly, raising the body from the ground so it could squirm forward an inch or so.

    The Time Traders Andre Norton
  • I tell you I wanted to see him squirm for the honour of the craft.

    Lord Jim Joseph Conrad
  • How Marie ever helped him squirm out of this diving-suit was more than I could tell.

    The Man In The High-Water Boots F. Hopkinson Smith
British Dictionary definitions for squirm


verb (intransitive)
to move with a wriggling motion; writhe
to feel deep mental discomfort, guilt, embarrassment, etc
a squirming movement
Derived Forms
squirmer, noun
squirming, adjective
squirmingly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: of imitative origin (perhaps influenced by worm)
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for squirm

1690s, originally referring to eels, of unknown origin; sometimes associated with worm or swarm, but perhaps rather imitative. Related: Squirmed; squirming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for squirm

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for squirm

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for squirm