nib·​ble | \ ˈni-bəl How to pronounce nibble (audio) \
nibbled; nibbling\ ˈni-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce nibbling (audio) \

Definition of nibble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to bite gently
b : to eat or chew in small bits
2 : to take away bit by bit waves nibbling the shore

intransitive verb

1 : to take gentle, small, or cautious bites also : snack
2 : to deal with something as if by nibbling



Definition of nibble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of nibbling
2 : a very small quantity or portion (as of food) also : snack
3 : a tentative expression of interest

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Other Words from nibble


nibbler \ ˈni-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce nibbler (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for nibble

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of nibble in a Sentence

Verb We nibbled cheese and crackers. We nibbled on some cheese and crackers before dinner. Noun He felt a nibble on his fishing line. They served some delicious nibbles before dinner.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Though this might evoke images of an invading land army, the bulk of troops are likely to be to the rear, on the Chinese side, in support of intruders nibbling at Indian territory. The Economist, "Mountain claimers A border dispute between India and China is getting more serious," 28 May 2020 That means scammers will probably be back in force once the call centers come back online. Stepped-up enforcement from industry groups and the US government could nibble around the edges of those call volumes when the scammers are back, however. Tali Arbel,, "Coronavirus pandemic claims another victim: Robocalls," 22 May 2020 Silver Charm, a 1,200-pound Thoroughbred with a white coat peppered by tiny flecks of gray, leaned over the top railing of the pasture fence and nibbled at the lips of the man with the cap turned backwards. Smithsonian Magazine, "When the Race Is Over," 17 Apr. 2020 Khinkali, the fat, nobby pouches of lamb or minced beef and pork in broth (three for $8-$10) are a distant relative to Shanghai-style soup dumplings, and are meant to be similarly nibbled and slurped before eating. oregonlive, "Portland’s 40 best inexpensive restaurants," 11 Mar. 2020 Girls and boys dressed in Ganni took their seats and nibbled on tuna tartar and salmon filets. Vogue, "Inside All the Best Parties at Art Basel Miami, Day 3," 6 Dec. 2019 Maybe there’s a dish of M&Ms on your colleague’s desk or you nibble on your child’s leftover PB&J while doing the dishes. Patricia Jurek, Rd, Mba, Detroit Free Press, "Mindful eating vs. dieting," 15 July 2019 The volunteers drank boxed wine and I.P.A. beer, and nibbled on chocolate cake and tortilla chips. Lizzie Widdicombe, The New Yorker, "The Rage and Sorrow of the Warren Supporter," 7 Mar. 2020 For fans of the Star Wars universe, the series written by Jon Favreau and directed by Dave Diloni (Star Wars Rebels) has offered something to nibble on until The Rise of Skywalker arrives in December. Sharareh Drury, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood Reporter Reader Poll: What Is Your Favorite New Show of 2019?," 2 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Drinks were modeled after the four elements—Air, Earth, Fire, and Water—and enjoyed before guests moved into the ballroom for delectable and warming nibbles such as truffle lobster risotto and the signature chicken pie. Vogue, "Diane von Furstenberg and Edward Enninful Host One Celestial Bash at Claridge’s," 30 Nov. 2018 He was even permitted a few nibbles of the grass lawn. oregonlive, "Therapy llama visits outside of nursing home, drops in on Zoom meetings, amid coronavirus," 2 May 2020 Stores are looking closely at developing curbside-pickup-delivery initiatives, so the toothpick-spearing days for a nibble of diced cheese, cube of meat or dessert cup with tiny plastic spoon are in the past to stay. Marc Bona, cleveland, "16 things likely to become obsolete in a post-coronavirus world," 26 Apr. 2020 Some smelled it, licked it, or took tiny nibbles around the edges. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New twist on marshmallow test: Kids depend on each other for self control," 21 Jan. 2020 From the welcoming glass of Krug champagne to the final nibble of Indian sweets from Masala Munchies, guests were treated to a three-course dinner that showcased Houston's cultural diversity. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Culinary stars shine bright at Southern Smoke kickoff," 5 Oct. 2019 Frilly tea, please Just about now, who doesn’t want to go escape somewhere with friends, yummy nibbles and butterflies on your plate? Neiman Marcus is bringing high tea to its Zodiac Room in its Downtown Dallas store. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "Retail Therapy: Spring hasn’t been canceled at NorthPark, Highland Park Village and Neiman Marcus," 5 Mar. 2020 Just remember that any plant can cause stomach upset and vomiting if your pet nibbles on it, so keep an eye on your pets with all your indoor plants and indoor trees. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "How to Care for a Money Tree," 24 Jan. 2020 Bats aren’t exactly clean, so if one nibbles on a fruit, the food may get contaminated with fecal matter. National Geographic, "New coronavirus can spread between humans—but it started in a wildlife market," 21 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nibble.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nibble


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


circa 1525, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nibble


origin unknown

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Time Traveler for nibble

Time Traveler

The first known use of nibble was in the 15th century

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Statistics for nibble

Cite this Entry

“Nibble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for nibble


How to pronounce nibble (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nibble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to eat slowly or with small bites
: to bite (something) very gently



English Language Learners Definition of nibble (Entry 2 of 2)

: a small bite
: an expression of interest in something
informal : small things to eat before a meal or at a party : snacks or appetizers


nib·​ble | \ ˈni-bəl How to pronounce nibble (audio) \
nibbled; nibbling

Kids Definition of nibble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to bite or chew gently or bit by bit



Kids Definition of nibble (Entry 2 of 2)

: a very small amount

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More from Merriam-Webster on nibble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nibble

Spanish Central: Translation of nibble

Nglish: Translation of nibble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nibble for Arabic Speakers

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