Definition of zigzag in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈzɪɡzaɡ/


1A line or course having abrupt alternate right and left turns: she traced a zigzag on the metal with her finger
More example sentences
  • The police are having to take positive action in a bid to stop parents dropping off or picking up their children on the zigzag lines outside three more schools.
  • Rectangular cells, gently arching lines and compressed zigzags proliferate across the supports.
  • she shows weals on her thigh, thin green lines in a short zigzag.
1.1A turn on a zigzag course: the road descends in a series of sharp zigzags


Having the form of a zigzag; veering alternately to right and left: when chased by a predator, some animals take a zigzag course
More example sentences
  • He initiated this possibility by manipulating versions of the liar's paradox with zigzag graphs of truth and falsehood states.
  • Gung-ho climbers can tackle the zigzag trail up the steep incline.
  • Have a look inside for the jazzy zigzag Norman chancel arch.
meandering, zigzagging, snaking, snaky, winding, wiggly, squiggly, crooked, tacking, twisting, twisty, full of twists and turns, curving, curvy, wavy, deviating, undulating, sinuous, serpentine, tortuous, irregular
technical sinuate, ogee
rare anfractuous, flexuous, meandrous, serpentiform


So as to move right and left alternately: she drives zigzag across the city

verb (zigzags, zigzagging, zigzagged)

[no object]
Have or move along in a zigzag course: the path zigzagged between dry rises in the land
More example sentences
  • I once rented a scooter and zigzagged along most of San Miguel's streets to see the neighborhoods.
  • For two weeks he sat on a bus that zigzagged along the eastern seaboard picking up other criminals who were being reassigned from one jail to another.
  • They zigzagged along until Estrella found herself in the familiar surroundings of the underground meeting hall.
meander, snake, twist, twist and turn, tack, wind, weave, wander, wiggle, squiggle, undulate



Example sentences
  • It was like long snakes zigzaggedly going through a forest full of fireflies showing them direction.
  • His mother just did farm chores for her in-laws and babbled on zigzaggedly since his birth.
  • He comes quite near and I swim up towards him, but my buddy makes biting motions, so I back off and the leopard shark swims zigzaggedly on his way.


Early 18th century: from French, from German Zickzack, symbolic of alternation of direction, first applied to fortifications.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: zig¦zag

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.