nib·​ble | \ ˈni-bəl \
nibbled; nibbling\ ˈni-​b(ə-​)liŋ \

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 \ noun

Synonyms for nibble

Synonyms: Verb

peck, pick

Synonyms: Noun

bite, morsel, mouthful, nugget, taste, tidbit (also titbit)

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Examples of nibble in a Sentence


We nibbled cheese and crackers. We nibbled on some cheese and crackers before dinner.


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

Attendees nibbled on yellowfish tuna that had been tracked using Viant's blockchain app all the way from Fiji, where it was caught. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "Praying To Satoshi at the Blockchain Art Expo," 14 May 2018 Hollywood stars and fashion elite sipped Moet & Chandon while nibbling hors d'oeuvres at Chateau Marmont this past weekend to celebrate French sensation Marion Cotillard. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Marion Cotillard Fêted by Dior," 12 Jan. 2010 During a recent Bruno Mars concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, some concertgoers passed on the greasy hot dogs, opting instead to nibble on sesame lamb meatballs. Suzanne Vranica, WSJ, "WW International Looks Beyond Dieting," 29 Oct. 2018 Participants sample five wines from prestigious appellations while nibbling small bites. Condé Nast Traveler, "20 Best Food Tours in Paris," 3 Mar. 2018 Backstage, the models and crew prepped and nibbled on delectable bites from The Smile, and guests in the main dining hall enjoyed the event’s highly anticipated chicken pot pie dinner. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Inside the 2018 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Gala Dinner," 6 Nov. 2018 Seamus, prompted by Leone, immediately jumped on someone’s back, and soon nibbled on a shirt. Nicole Tsong, The Seattle Times, "Know how to make yoga even better? Goats.," 23 July 2018 Watching Netflix in new PJs while diffusing essential oils, drinking wine, and nibbling from a fancy cheese plate? Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "16 Things From Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale I Want for Self-Care Sunday," 20 July 2018 Knowing that barley was healthful, Mr. Gopi, Ms. Jimenez and a third founder, Jessica Aguirre, nibbled it plain. Larissa Zimberoff, New York Times, "From Brewery to Bakery: A Flour That Fights Waste," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After coffee and nibbles, Martinetto scoped out the racks as the designers gained valuable knowledge on how to meet with leaders in retail. Vogue, "Tomorrow London Hosts a Breakfast at the Americans in Paris Showroom for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund," 4 Oct. 2018 Ending the tour at Blender Studios for an informal gallery tour with wine and nibbles, and interacting with some of the artists in their workspace, was a unique and organic way to round out the day. Krista Simmons, Condé Nast Traveler, "13 Best Things to Do in Melbourne," 26 Sep. 2018 Some smelled it, licked it, or took tiny nibbles around the edges, hoping the examiner wouldn't notice. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "R.I.P. Walter Mischel, father of the infamous Marshmallow Test," 14 Sep. 2018 Pickled in Vinegar One final way to store all your garlic is to pickle it. Pickling mellows garlic out, making whole cloves mild enough to be tossed raw into salads or served as nibbles along with olives and such. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "7 Ways You Can Make Your Garlic Last Longer," 27 July 2018 What's worse, even the most conscientious dieter forgets to count those extra nibbles. Jill Provost, Woman's Day, "Are You Sabotaging Your Diet?," 7 Feb. 2011 Dig into the crudités, have one or two of the must-try nibbles, then wait for the main event. Redbook, "Eat-Right Strategies for Thanksgiving," 14 Nov. 2010 Through Labor Day, bask at the weekly bonfire on Thursdays at 7 p.m. A food cart offers special drinks and nibbles then and from noon to sunset on weekends. Jeanne Cooper,, "Where to watch the sunset with a cocktail around Half Moon Bay," 11 July 2018 Of course, there were plenty of sips and nibbles to go around too. Ruth Sowby Rands,, "On the Town: Assistance League celebrates 75 years of service to the community," 22 May 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near nibble





nibble (away) at



Statistics for nibble

Last Updated

4 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nibble

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

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More Definitions for nibble



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

nibbles : small things to eat before a meal or at a party : snacks or appetizers


nib·​ble | \ ˈni-bəl \
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

Comments on nibble

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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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