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

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

After nibbling for a few yards at a time, Duke faced a fourth-and-1 from the Tide 7-yard line. Michael Casagrande |, al, "How Alabama’s 2 freshmen LBs responded to big moment," 1 Sep. 2019 That is a credit to his 150 Algarve goats, an indigenous breed with dark spots on a white coat, who have nibbled away the underbrush that can fuel a fire. Raphael Minder,, "Portugal turns to goats as its wildfires get baaaad," 17 Aug. 2019 The Bulls’ jump coincides with a trend Forbes found that the NBA and other leagues have been nibbling at the NFL’s dominance. Phil Thompson,, "Bulls catch up to the Bears on Forbes’ list of the most valuable sports teams, while Cubs are tied for 14th," 22 July 2019 Feral sheep and pigs roamed the territory, nibbling at meager patches of grass. Christopher Reynolds,, "On Santa Cruz, California’s largest island, foxes play and a traffic jam is 6 kayaks," 9 June 2019 Evening: International relations and hors d’oeuvres Several senators were among the VIPs who attended the mixer, sipping wine, Molson beer and nibbling on seafood hors d’oeuvres at the casual affair. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, "A day in the life of a United States senator: Dan Sullivan," 18 Aug. 2019 Toxic algae can also dry up into crusts onshore, where dogs might nibble on them. Christine Hauser, New York Times, "Algae Can Poison Your Dog," 12 Aug. 2019 Guests gathered in the patio to sip cooling beverages and nibble on an offering of finger-food ranging from fresh fruits, a selection of cheeses, crisp beautiful veggies including delicious asparagus sprinkled with sesame seeds. Jane Napier Neely, La Cañada Valley Sun, "The Valley Line: Hospital gallery opening and Laguna pageant both picture perfect," 29 July 2019 There was now a cow under the crossbar, nibbling at the grass edging the rutted bald spot of the goalmouth. Colin Barrett, Harper's magazine, "The Alps," 22 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These Puffins provide the perfect crunch in an easy-to-grab nibble. Samantha Cassetty, NBC News, "Back to school: 9 lower-sugar snacks and treats for kids you can feel good about," 21 Aug. 2019 Any choice is a satisfying nibble with a glass of wine. Ann Trieger Kurland,, "Savory biscuits for grown-ups," 13 Aug. 2019 The veteran nibbles around the strike zone, relying on hitters chasing pitches to accrue outs with soft contact, and the Dodgers (68-37) are one of the best at not chasing. Los Angeles Times, "Justin Turner’s late home run caps off Dodgers rally in victory over Nationals," 26 July 2019 For a nightcap, Martin’s bar fits the bill and for an anytime nibble and nosh, room service is available 24/7. Melanie Reffes, USA TODAY, "After Hurricane Irma, St. Martin resorts have rebuilt to become bigger and better," 2 July 2019 The Kitchen Room, aglow with mint green light, was stocked with chefs concocting various nibbles. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "There Was No Limit to the Champagne, Caviar, and Lobster at Hermès’s Lavish Fete," 5 Apr. 2019 Now armed with corn, asparagus, tree leaves and a flower, Evra proceeds to try seduce each one, rubbing them across his body and giving each a playful nibble., "Patrice Evra: 8 of the Craziest Moments From Mr 'I Love This Game' After His Retirement," 29 July 2019 At the end of the song, Hill takes a nibble from a pancake served to him by frontman Ezra Koening. Ellise Shafer, Billboard, "From Travis Scott to Sara Bareilles, Here's Every Music Video Directed by Jonah Hill," 25 July 2019 To my mind, the salatim is not optional; digging into these nibbles, along with hummus (they’ll be served together) and the heavenly pita arriving direct from the oven, is precisely the experience Galit wants to provide. Phil Vettel,, "Review: Galit delivers a Middle Eastern masterpiece from James Beard-winning chef Zach Engel," 14 June 2019

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

13 Sep 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
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

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

What made you want to look up nibble? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

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