Meaning of WEDGE in English


I. ˈwej noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English wegge, from Old English wecg; akin to Old High German weggi, wecki wedge, Old Norse veggr, Lithuanian vagis wedge, peg, and probably to Latin vomis, vomer plowshare, Greek ophnis

1. : a piece of material (as wood or metal) tapering to a thin edge used for splitting wood or rocks, for raising heavy bodies, and by being driven into a space between objects for tightening

drove the wedge into the log with a maul


a. : a lump or mass of something solid

ate wedges of brown bread dipped in coffee — Kay Boyle

fine, well-aged Herkimer county cheddar … is sold in wedges — New Yorker

a thick wedge of estuarine clay was laid down over the earlier valley peats — J.N.Jennings & Joyce Lambert

b. obsolete : a gold or silver ingot


a. : something (as a device, policy, or action) causing a breach or separation

time … to unite this country instead of attempting to drive a wedge between any segments of our population — Earl Bunting

slavery … had driven a wedge between the North and the South — Oscar Handlin

driving a wedge of sardonic laughter and comment into the wall of prejudice — V.P.Hass

b. : something used to initiate an extended action or development

looked upon the union … as a growing wedge in the fight to end discrimination — Current Biography

bill is merely another wedge to pry billions out of the American exchequer — J.S.Lawrence

the officers' fraternity … was taken as the entering wedge of military despotism — Dixon Wecter

the thin end of the improving wedge has come in — John Russell b.1872

4. : something shaped like or suggestive of a wedge: as

a. : an array of troops or tanks drawn up or moving in the form of a wedge

the armored wedge drove forward to make openings in the enemy line

b. : a formation of flying wild fowl

the high wedge and honk of birds flying south — Meridel LeSueur

c. : a section of land narrowing to a point

a small wedge of an island — Iain Hamilton

a wedge of green forest juts out into the field

d. : voussoir


(1) : the wedge-shaped stroke in cuneiform characters

cuneiform … is at first sight only a meaningless jumble of wedges — S.L.Caiger

(2) : hacek

f. : a wedge-shaped region of high barometric pressure


(1) : wedge heel

(2) : a shoe that has a wedge heel

h. : an iron golf club that has a broad low-angled face for giving maximum loft from sand traps and from deep rough : a heavy niblick

i. : a piece of optical glass or crystal (as in a compensator or a photometer) having a progressive variation in thickness or absorption density from one side to the other

5. : the type of cutting and piercing machinery formerly classed as a mechanical power

6. : a piece of bone removed (as from a foot) to correct deformity or malposition

a wedge resection

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English weggen, from wegge wedge

transitive verb

1. : to fasten or tighten by driving or forcing in a wedge

wedges the pegs in tightly

the carpenter wedges up the post under the beam

the builder wedges the wooden partition to the overhead construction

2. : to force or drive (an object) into something where it is tightly held : squeeze

the flood wedges debris into the crotches of the trees

was wedged in between his two bedfellows, both of whom were aggressively large — T.B.Costain

the houses … appear to be wedged in the rocky hillside — American Guide Series: Maryland

seeking to wedge an advancing force between the enemy's strongpoints

3. : to separate or force apart with or as if with a wedge

the axman wedges open the log for finer splitting

seeks to wedge apart his enemies, to divide and conquer

4. : to cram or pack into a small or restricted space : crowd

thousands of homes had been wedged into the tiny valley

Sunday driving wedges the cars together on miles of congested highways

5. : to overthrow or direct the fall of (a tree) by driving wedges into the kerf made by the sawyer

6. : to cut (clay) into wedge-shaped masses and work by dashing together to expel air bubbles

intransitive verb

: to become tight or fixed by or as if by being wedged

hold the wood properly so that the saw will not wedge

- wedge one's way

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.