zigzag, n., adj., and adv.
a. A series of short lines inclined at angles in alternate directions; a line or course having sharp turns of this kind; concr. something characterized by such lines or turns. Orig. in phr. in zigzag (= French en zigzag).
b. Each of such lines or turns: chiefly in plural.
2. A road or path turning sharply at angles in alternate directions, esp. so as to reduce the gradient on a steep slope; each of the sharp turns forming such a road.
a. Fortification. A trench leading towards a besieged place, constructed in a zigzag direction so as not to be enfiladed by the defenders; a boyau.
4. Collectors' name for a shell, or a moth, with zigzag marking.
a. Having the form of a zigzag; turning sharply at angles in alternate directions; characterized by turns of this kind.
b. Architecture. Applied to a moulding or other ornament of a zigzag pattern: cf. A. 3b.
c. Botany. Applied to the stem of a plant, or to a plant having such a stem.
In a zigzag manner or direction.
C1. zigzag-shaped adj.; zigzag fashion, zigzag-wise quasi-adverbs.
zigzag connection n. Electrical Engineering a form of star connection of three-phase circuits, each branch of which is interconnected and contains portions of two consecutive phases.
zigzag machine n. a sewing machine with a swing needle that may be used to produce a zigzag stitch and decorative stitches derived from it.
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