• WordNet 3.6
    • adj zigzag having short sharp turns or angles
    • adv zigzag in a zigzag course or on a zigzag path "birds flew zigzag across the blue sky"
    • v zigzag travel along a zigzag path "The river zigzags through the countryside"
    • n zigzag an angular shape characterized by sharp turns in alternating directions
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The crocodile is surprisingly fast on land. If pursued by a crocodile, a person should run in a zigzag motion, for the crocodile has little or no ability to make sudden changes of direction.
    • Zigzag (Arch) A molding running in a zigzag line; a chevron, or series of chevrons. See Illust. of Chevron, 3.
    • a Zigzag Having short, sharp turns; running this way and that in an onward course.
    • Zigzag (Fort) See Boyau.
    • Zigzag Something that has short turns or angles. "The fanatics going straight forward and openly, the politicians by the surer mode of zigzag .""The fanatics going straight forward and openly, the politicians by the surer mode of zigzag ."
    • v. t Zigzag To form with short turns.
    • v. i Zigzag To move in a zigzag manner; also, to have a zigzag shape.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n zigzag A sharp turning back and forth or in and out; an irregular, abrupt angulation; one of a series of sharp turns in a linear or curvilinear course: nearly always in the plural.
    • n zigzag A formation with a succession of sharp turnings or angles; something that has a number of abrupt angulations, like those of chain-lightning.
    • n zigzag Specifically.
    • n zigzag A winding path with sharp turns, as up the side of a steep mountain.
    • n zigzag In fortification, a trench of approach against a fortress, so constructed that the line of trench may not be enfiladed by the defenders: same as boyau.
    • n zigzag In architecture, same as chevron, 2.
    • n zigzag In the fisheries, a salmon-stair or fish way.
    • n zigzag In entomology, a British moth, Bombyx dispar.
    • zigzag Having sharp and quick turns or flexures; turning frequently back and forth; in botany, angularly bent from side to side.
    • zigzag In a zigzag manner; with frequent sharp turns.
    • zigzag To move or advance in a zigzag fashion; form zigzags in a course; turn sharply back and forth.
    • zigzag To form in zigzags, or with short turns or angles.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Zigzag zig′zag a short, sharp turning
    • adj Zigzag having short, sharp turns, bent from side to side
    • v.t Zigzag to form with short turns:—pr.p. zig′zagging; pa.p. zig′zagged
    • adv Zigzag with frequent sharp turns—also Zig′zaggy
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. zigzag, G. zickzack, from zacke, zacken, a dentil, tooth. Cf. Tack a small nail


In literature:

But it was managed here with turns and zigzags so that the grade was never very sharp.
"The Boy Scouts In Russia" by John Blaine
The pine branches were whitening, the narrow, rugged path ran a zigzag of white.
"Foes" by Mary Johnston
Up and down, the trail zigzagged and climbed, always penetrating deeper and deeper into the heart of the mountains.
"The Honorable Senator Sage-Brush" by Francis Lynde
By walking in a zigzag along some of these borders, we gathered in many scattered birds and small bunches.
"The Killer" by Stewart Edward White
All were running zigzag fashion.
"Square Deal Sanderson" by Charles Alden Seltzer
He brought her to call on me, and I had to be polite to the lady, though we lost a day by the zigzag.
"The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death, Volume I (of 2), 1866-1868" by David Livingstone
The way was narrow and somewhat zigzag, and in several places she had to stoop in order to proceed.
"Eveline Mandeville" by Alvin Addison
Beyond the river it zigzagged in a northeasterly direction through Eastchester.
"Fifth Avenue" by Arthur Bartlett Maurice
A thousand lights flashed in zigzags before his eyes.
"The Sheriff's Son" by William MacLeod Raine
The distributor is composed of a ribbon of iron or nickel, bent into a continuous zigzag.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 633, February 18, 1888" by Various

In poetry:

Owls: they whinney down the night,
Bats go zigzag by.
Ambushed in shadow out of sight
The outlaws lie.
"Outlaws" by Robert Graves
The mule from off his ribs a fly
Flicked, and then zigzagged down the road.
Antonio lit his pipe, and I
Behind them somewhat sadly strode.
"At The Gate Of The Convent" by Alfred Austin
Under the frozen pane,
Turning as you do, zigzagging,
And at the most uncertain of your ground
Will shatter through, and lean,
And breathe frankly in your face
"Pursuit From Under" by James Dickey
Without humility and pride,
Let us recall ourselves in the night
from thread to thread,
And witness on rocks the zigzags of chalk
In which fragile testimony left its trace.
"Perhaps It's Time" by Tudor Arghezi
Over our heads truth and nature—-
Still our life's zigzags and dodges,
Ins and outs, weaving a new legislature—-
God's gold just shining its last where that lodges,
Palled beneath man's usurpature.
"Master Hugues Of Saxe-Gotha" by Robert Browning
Slow through the trees zigzag I ride.
See! the goblins!—to and fro!
From the skull of the dark, on either side,
See the eyes of a dragon glow!
From the thickets the silent serpents glide—
I pass them, I let them go;
"The Three Horses" by George MacDonald

In news:

I was just wondering, would the speed of lightning be even speedier if it didn't waste time zigzagging about the sky.
Description WOOD Editors test the integrity of the joints used in the ZigZag Rocker project.
A boy band–thin beard zigzags across his face.
I do four zigzags per practice, if my knee holds out.
Young, Hip Sport Zigzags Into the Olympic Mainstream.
Zigzag is a tile-matching game with a new twist.
'Muppets' helmer Bobin set for 'Agent Zigzag'.
Zigzag bamboo (Shibataea kumasasa) is one of the finest small garden bamboos.
Putting Zigzag in a Target Bag.
'Muppets' helmer Bobin set for 'Agent Zigzag '.
Zigzag bamboo (Shibataea kumasasa) is one of the finest small garden bamboos.
Terry Richard/The Oregonian Little Zigzag Falls rushes through the cool of the Mount Hood National Forest.
One of Zulu 's works is meant to mimic the zigzag of a DNA strand.
Marcella "Marcy" Frances (Johnson) Taylor, 88, of Lincoln City, Ore. She was born March 27, 1924, the only child of Byron Mark and Frances (Shannon) Johnson in Oregon City, Ore. She lived her first 18 years in Zigzag, Ore.
Matt Damon and John Krasinski's zigzag path to 'Promised Land'.

In science:

In order to prove our main theorem, we have to check that any group of the list is connected to an alternating group by a zigzag of localizations.
Finite simple groups and localization
Color online) (a) Zigzag ladder and (b) one-dimensional chain with next nearest neighbor interactions.
Theoretical Aspects of Charge Ordering in Molecular Conductors
Our complete proof of (5.2) is more involved since we must estimate the contributions to (5.3) due also to more complex zigzag random walk paths.
Random walk on the incipient infinite cluster for oriented percolation in high dimensions
Olshanski, Coherent random permutations with descent statistic and the boundary problem for the graph of zigzag diagrams, Int.
Constrained exchangeable partitions
The study of the effect of the forcing on zigzag dynamics of above model is in progress.
Transversal interface dynamics of a front connecting a stripe pattern to a uniform state