I look for a verb that conveys gentle slow-motion wriggling.

For example, the octopus tentacle ... further into the sand.

According to the classical dictionaries OEL, OALD, CALD, etc. wriggling conveys with short writhing motions like a worm. I'm looking for a word that does not insinuate writhing.

Words like to drill, to bore, etc. do not fit here, because of the context of the sentence. My real sentence is different but the octopus tentacle conveys the idea of the movement.

My sentence is about a tangible sensation that permeates the body slowly over time, and that sensation has a clear physicalness, it's not an imagination. However, it can't be measured although the effect of it worming through the body should be measurable. (Somewhat similar to measuring the Higgs boson.


You could try slithering or worming

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  • I don't think you can worm or slither a tentacle. – Lambie Jun 6 '19 at 18:09
  • Why not? "The octopus tentacle slithered further into the sand." But, "The octopus tentacle wormed its way further into the sand." – Lorel C. Jun 6 '19 at 18:23
  • Slither also insinuates 'quick and easy', at least according to my dictionaries. Hence, not possible. ...'to worm' ... is not too bad. – johann_ka Jun 6 '19 at 19:28
  • @LorelC. Sorry, but only an animal (or insect) or person can slither or worm their way into something. An animal or human appendage cannot do so. Basic usage. We would not say: I slithered my arm into the hole. But we would say: I slithered into the hole. – Lambie Jun 6 '19 at 19:33
  • @Lambie "Slowly, gently, the door to the closet swung open and a green-and-yellow-splotched tentacle slithered out and across the floor." --Dreamland, from the author of Star Trek – Eddie Kal Jun 6 '19 at 21:12

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