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Drawing of a zigzag.

A zigzag is a pattern made up of small corners at variable angles, though constant within the zigzag, tracing a path between two parallel lines; it can be described as both jagged and fairly regular.

In geometry, this pattern is described as a skew apeirogon. From the point of view of symmetry, a regular zigzag can be generated from a simple motif like a line segment by repeated application of a glide reflection.

Although the origin of the word is unclear, its first printed appearances were in French-language books and ephemera of the late 17th century.[1]

Examples of zigzags[edit]

A 2-metre carpenter's ruler with centimetre divisions
Road sign warning for upcoming zigzag turn.
A seismograph showing zigzag lines

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Liberman, Anatoly (2009). Word Origins...And How We Know Them: Etymology for Everyone. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-538707-0.
  2. ^ Shepler, Missy; Brent, Rebecca (2011). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Sewing. Penguin. p. 84. ISBN 978-1-101-51368-2.
  3. ^ Gardiner, Wendy; Knight, Lorna (2011). The Sewing Machine Accessory Bible: Get the Most Out of Your Machine---From Using Basic Feet to Mastering Specialty Feet. Macmillan. pp. 34–35. ISBN 978-0-312-67658-2.
  4. ^ Allen, Terry (1986). "4". A Classical Revival in Islamic Architecture. Wiesbaden.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  5. ^ Allen, Terry (2008). Pisa and the Dome of the Rock (electronic publication) (2nd ed.). Occidental, California: Solipsist Press. ISBN 978-0-944940-08-2. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  6. ^ "Seismograph - What is a seismograph?". SMS-Tsunami-Warning.com. Retrieved 8 January 2023.