nibble

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
nibbler noun

nibble

2 of 2

noun

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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Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The trout will nibble on jigs baited with maggots and waxworms and suspended under a float, or chase casting spoons and spinners. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, 22 Sep. 2022 After her elaborate preparations, my mother would nibble on whatever was left on the cores and pits by the sink before joining us at the table. Connie Wang, refinery29.com, 7 Sep. 2022 For the full experience, serve it with warm pita, feta and fresh herbs to nibble on between spoonfuls. Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2022 Yellow jackets hunt caterpillars, grubs and will even nibble your burger for sustenance. Bethany Brookshire, Good Housekeeping, 18 June 2022 And China is likely to be playing the long game, analysts said, using its gray zone tactics to nibble away at US influence gradually. Brad Lendon, CNN, 10 June 2022 Food Since this party centers around the television and not the table, keep the food easy to eat so everyone can nibble while watching the show and catching up with friends. Aly Walansky, Forbes, 6 Dec. 2021 And like any good Italian household, there’s always a little something to nibble on. Kareem Rashed, Robb Report, 14 Dec. 2021 Keep this arrangement where your furry friends can't nibble on it—poinsettia leaves can be toxic to pets. Natalie Dayton, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 Dec. 2021
Noun
Bavarian tavern snack: Some longtime Wisconsin taverns and supper clubs still offer patrons a free nibble of crackers and cheese, and the cheese spreads pay homage mostly to cheddar. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 22 Sep. 2020 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, 30 Nov. 2018 He was even permitted a few nibbles of the grass lawn. oregonlive, 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, 26 Apr. 2020 Some smelled it, licked it, or took tiny nibbles around the edges. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 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, 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, 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, 24 Jan. 2020 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

origin unknown

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

circa 1525, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near nibble

Cite this Entry

“Nibble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nibble. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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Kids Definition

nibble 1 of 2

verb

nib·​ble ˈni-bəl How to pronounce nibble (audio)
nibbled; nibbling
: to bite or chew gently or bit by bit

nibble

2 of 2

noun

: a very small amount

More from Merriam-Webster on nibble

Last Updated: 25 Sep 2022

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