squirm

To squirm is to wiggle or twist your body, the way an excited puppy will squirm when you try to hold him in your arms.

Small children and animals squirm from excitement or eagerness, while uncomfortable adults also sometimes squirm: "She was so upset by her friends' argument that she started to squirm in her chair." When the word squirm first appeared in the 17th century, it was used specifically to talk about eels. Experts aren't sure of its roots, but some guess squirm is connected to worm or swarm.

Definitions of squirm
  1. verb
    move in a twisting or contorted motion (especially when struggling)
    synonyms: twist, worm, wrestle, wriggle, writhe
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    types:
    wrench
    make a sudden twisting motion
    type of:
    move
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  2. noun
    the act of wiggling
    synonyms: wiggle, wriggle
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    type of:
    motility, motion, move, movement
    a change of position that does not entail a change of location
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