The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







A zigzag is a pattern made up of many small corners at an acute angle, tracing a path between two parallel lines; it can be described as both jagged and fairly regular.

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:

*\*/*\*/*\*/*\* ...

Equally it is the juxtaposition of chevrons.

A car, for example, could move in a zigzag, that is, not going straight, but instead moving left and right and left and so on. The trace of a triangle wave or a sawtooth wave could be described as a zigzag. Pinking shears are designed to cut cloth with a zigzag edge, to lessen fraying. Zigzags are a basic decorative pattern used on pottery.

Last updated: 05-16-2005 03:27:55
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04