The word zigzag describes the shape of a line. A line drawn in a zigzag shape makes a lot of short, sharp turns. The letter Z is a zigzag itself, and a thunderbolt is also often represented as a zigzag.

The first turn a zigzag line makes is called a zig, and the second is called the zag. Zigzag can also be a verb. If you're describing how you got lost in the desert, you might say, "I meant to go straight, but then I zigged, and then I zagged." Serpentine describes a line that curves, but the curves are rounded (like a serpent), not short and sharp like a zigzag.

Definitions of zigzag

n an angular shape characterized by sharp turns in alternating directions

zag, zig
Type of:
angular shape, angularity
a shape having one or more sharp angles

adj having short sharp turns or angles

having or marked by bends or angles; not straight or aligned

v travel along a zigzag path

“The river zigzags through the countryside”
Type of:
go, locomote, move, travel
change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically

adv in a zigzag course or on a zigzag path

“birds flew zigzag across the blue sky”

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