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[wej] /wɛdʒ/
a piece of hard material with two principal faces meeting in a sharply acute angle, for raising, holding, or splitting objects by applying a pounding or driving force, as from a hammer.
Compare machine (def 3b).
a piece of anything of like shape:
a wedge of pie.
a cuneiform character or stroke of this shape.
Meteorology. (formerly) an elongated area of relatively high pressure.
something that serves to part, split, divide, etc.:
The quarrel drove a wedge into the party organization.
Military. (formerly) a tactical formation generally in the form of a V with the point toward the enemy.
Golf. a club with an iron head the face of which is nearly horizontal, for lofting the ball, especially out of sand traps and high grass.
Optics. optical wedge.
Chiefly Coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island. a hero sandwich.
a wedge heel or shoe with such a heel.
verb (used with object), wedged, wedging.
to separate or split with or as if with a wedge (often followed by open, apart, etc.):
to wedge open a log.
to insert or fix with a wedge.
to pack or fix tightly:
to wedge clothes into a suitcase.
to thrust, drive, fix, etc., like a wedge:
He wedged himself through the narrow opening.
Ceramics. to pound (clay) in order to remove air bubbles.
to fell or direct the fall of (a tree) by driving wedges into the cut made by the saw.
verb (used without object), wedged, wedging.
to force a way like a wedge (usually followed by in, into, through, etc.):
The box won't wedge into such a narrow space.
Origin of wedge
before 900; Middle English wegge (noun), Old English wecg; cognate with dialectal German Weck (Old High German wecki), Old Norse veggr
Related forms
wedgelike, adjective
unwedge, verb (used with object), unwedged, unwedging.
14. cram, jam, stuff, crowd, squeeze.
Regional variation note
10. See hero sandwich. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wedge
  • The computer then sits astride the two ends, the triangular wedge formed by the fold keeping the hot base off your legs.
  • Cut a piece into a rectangle, wedge it into the seam, and then side it along the seam.
  • Place each wedge of iceberg lettuce on a plate, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with nuts if using.
  • In summer you can find sandals with a small or wedge heel.
  • Libertarians, of course, always worry about the thick end of any wedge.
  • To clean copper pots and pans, sprinkle salt on a lemon wedge.
  • The only option is to fly around the edge of the wedge.
  • Top with cider then squeeze lime wedge over the top and drop the wedge on in.
  • It's an austere, slim wedge with silvery buttons on top and a handle built into the back to carry it.
  • wedge is, understandably, searching for potential solutions wherever he can find them.
British Dictionary definitions for wedge


a block of solid material, esp wood or metal, that is shaped like a narrow V in cross section and can be pushed or driven between two objects or parts of an object in order to split or secure them
any formation, structure, or substance in the shape of a wedge: a wedge of cheese
something such as an idea, action, etc, that tends to cause division
a shoe with a wedge heel
(golf) a club with a face angle of more than 50°, used for bunker shots (sand wedge) or pitch shots (pitching wedge)
a wedge-shaped extension of the high pressure area of an anticyclone, narrower than a ridge
(mountaineering) a wedge-shaped device, formerly of wood, now usually of hollow steel, for hammering into a crack to provide an anchor point
any of the triangular characters used in cuneiform writing
(formerly) a body of troops formed in a V-shape
(photog) a strip of glass coated in such a way that it is clear at one end but becomes progressively more opaque towards the other end: used in making measurements of transmission density
(Brit, slang) a bribe
thin end of the wedge, anything unimportant in itself that implies the start of something much larger
(transitive) to secure with or as if with a wedge
to squeeze or be squeezed like a wedge into a narrow space
(transitive) to force apart or divide with or as if with a wedge
Derived Forms
wedgelike, adjective
wedgy, adjective
Word Origin
Old English wecg; related to Old Saxon weggi, Old High German wecki, Old Norse veggr wall
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 wedge

Old English wecg "a wedge," from Proto-Germanic *wagjaz (cf. Old Norse veggr, Middle Dutch wegge, Dutch wig, Old High German weggi "wedge," German Weck "wedge-shaped bread roll"), of unknown origin. Wedge issue is attested from 1999.


mid-15c., from wedge (n.). Related: Wedged; wedging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with wedge
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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