- a piece of hard material with two principal faces meeting in a sharply acute angle, for raising, holding, or splitting objects by applying a pounding or driving force, as from a hammer.Compare machine(def 3b).
- a piece of anything of like shape: a wedge of pie.
- a cuneiform character or stroke of this shape.
- Meteorology. (formerly) an elongated area of relatively high pressure.
- something that serves to part, split, divide, etc.: The quarrel drove a wedge into the party organization.
- Military. (formerly) a tactical formation generally in the form of a V with the point toward the enemy.
- Golf. a club with an iron head the face of which is nearly horizontal, for lofting the ball, especially out of sand traps and high grass.
- Optics. optical wedge.
- Chiefly Coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island. a hero sandwich.
- a wedge heel or shoe with such a heel.
verb (used with object), wedged, wedg·ing.
- to separate or split with or as if with a wedge (often followed by open, apart, etc.): to wedge open a log.
- to insert or fix with a wedge.
- to pack or fix tightly: to wedge clothes into a suitcase.
- to thrust, drive, fix, etc., like a wedge: He wedged himself through the narrow opening.
- Ceramics. to pound (clay) in order to remove air bubbles.
- to fell or direct the fall of (a tree) by driving wedges into the cut made by the saw.
verb (used without object), wedged, wedg·ing.
- to force a way like a wedge (usually followed by in, into, through, etc.): The box won’t wedge into such a narrow space.
- a block of solid material, esp wood or metal, that is shaped like a narrow V in cross section and can be pushed or driven between two objects or parts of an object in order to split or secure them
- any formation, structure, or substance in the shape of a wedgea wedge of cheese
- something such as an idea, action, etc, that tends to cause division
- a shoe with a wedge heel
- golf a club with a face angle of more than 50°, used for bunker shots (sand wedge) or pitch shots (pitching wedge)
- a wedge-shaped extension of the high pressure area of an anticyclone, narrower than a ridge
- mountaineering a wedge-shaped device, formerly of wood, now usually of hollow steel, for hammering into a crack to provide an anchor point
- any of the triangular characters used in cuneiform writing
- (formerly) a body of troops formed in a V-shape
- photog a strip of glass coated in such a way that it is clear at one end but becomes progressively more opaque towards the other end: used in making measurements of transmission density
- British slang a bribe
- thin end of the wedge anything unimportant in itself that implies the start of something much larger
- (tr) to secure with or as if with a wedge
- to squeeze or be squeezed like a wedge into a narrow space
- (tr) to force apart or divide with or as if with a wedge
v.mid-15c., from wedge (n.). Related: Wedged; wedging. n.Old English wecg “a wedge,” from Proto-Germanic *wagjaz (cf. Old Norse veggr, Middle Dutch wegge, Dutch wig, Old High German weggi “wedge,” German Weck “wedge-shaped bread roll”), of unknown origin. Wedge issue is attested from 1999. see thin edge of the wedge.