- 1[intransitive] to move around a lot making small twisting movements, because you are nervous, uncomfortable, etc. synonym wriggle (+ adv./prep.) The children were squirming restlessly in their seats. + adj. Someone grabbed him but he managed to squirm free.
- 2[intransitive] to feel great embarrassment or shame It made him squirm to think how badly he'd messed up the interview. Word Origin late 17th cent.: symbolic of writhing movement; probably associated with worm.Extra examples He squirmed with embarrassment. I squirmed in my seat, not knowing what to do. I started to squirm out of his grasp. She squirmed away from his hands. The very mention of her singing made her squirm uncomfortably. He stammered out a reply, squirming on his stool. The children squirmed restlessly in their seats. The little boy squirmed with embarrassment.
BrE BrE//skwɜːm//; NAmE NAmE//skwɜːrm//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they squirm
BrE BrE//skwɜːm//; NAmE NAmE//skwɜːrm//he / she / it squirms
BrE BrE//skwɜːmz//; NAmE NAmE//skwɜːrmz//past simple squirmed
BrE BrE//skwɜːmd//; NAmE NAmE//skwɜːrmd//past participle squirmed
BrE BrE//skwɜːmd//; NAmE NAmE//skwɜːrmd//-ing form squirming
BrE BrE//ˈskwɜːmɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈskwɜːrmɪŋ//