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

Other Words from nibble


nibbler \ ˈni-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce nibble (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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 This is for dark chocolate lovers and people who prefer to nibble on chocolate, which is not me. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, 24 Nov. 2021 For example, maybe being able to nibble on something in the morning prevents over-splurging later in the day. Cynthia Sass, Mph,, 29 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: 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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near nibble



nibble (away) at

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Last Updated

27 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nibble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for nibble


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

More from Merriam-Webster on nibble

Nglish: Translation of nibble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nibble for Arabic Speakers


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