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squirm

[skwurm] /skwɜrm/
verb (used without object)
1.
to wriggle or writhe.
2.
to feel or display discomfort or distress, as from reproof, embarrassment, pain, etc.:
He squirmed under the judge's questioning.
noun
3.
the act of squirming; a squirming or wriggling movement.
Origin of squirm
1685-1695
1685-95; of expressive orig., perhaps echoing worm
Related forms
squirmer, noun
squirmingly, adverb
unsquirming, adjective
Synonyms
1. turn, twist.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for squirming
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was a writhing, squirming mass of blackened humanity struggling for a mere physical existence, a bare living.

    From the Bottom Up Alexander Irvine
  • squirming and crawling about from place to place can do no good.

  • Just you watch him, abject as a yaller dawg, squirming and writhing and crawling to meet the only gentleman in that country.

    A Man in the Open Roger Pocock
  • "Pa," said Wilbur from the corner in which he had been squirming sleepily.

    Mezzerow Loves Company Floyd L. Wallace
  • "That's easy," replied Jo, reaching into the tank and drawing forth a large, squirming eel as he spoke.

    The Blue Dragon Kirk Munroe
British Dictionary definitions for squirming

squirm

/skwɜːm/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to move with a wriggling motion; writhe
2.
to feel deep mental discomfort, guilt, embarrassment, etc
noun
3.
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
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Word Origin and History for squirming

squirm

v.

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
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21
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