nibble

verb
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

nibble

noun

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

Verb

nibbler \ˈni-b(ə-)lər \ noun

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

And koalas are fanatically choosy about their leafy greens, favoring the ones high in nutrition and water content and pausing to bury their adorable Yoda-like faces in the leaves for a big sniff before nibbling. Joel Achenbach, Washington Post, "Koala genome shows how the adorable marsupial lives on eucalyptus leaves," 2 July 2018 Image The train route between New York City and Chicago was once the apex of luxury travel: Passengers boarded after walking on a red carpet laid out on the platform and nibbled lobster Newburg on fine china in the dining car. Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times, "New York-Chicago Direct Train Shuts Down for First Time in Over a Century," 8 June 2018 The audience nibbles sunflower seeds and fiddles with smartphones. Charlie Campbell / Kunming, Time, "Finding Love in the Kingdom of the Little People," 1 June 2018 Partygoers nibbled on organic purple cauliflower, black sesame hummus, and potatoes stuffed with truffles. Julia Russo, Vogue, "Michèle Lamy and Stefano Tonchi Kick Off the Global Launch of Birkenstock Box x Rick Owens in Los Angeles," 18 Apr. 2018 There are so many on my trees that only half of the ones in my driveway have been nibbled on by squirrels. Sheah Rarback, miamiherald, "Ubiquitous mangos taste good - and are good for you, too," 29 June 2018 Meanwhile, other technologies nibble at buses and trains. The Economist, "Public transport is in decline in many wealthy cities," 21 June 2018 The stork is dehydrated but nibbled on a small fish and is in surprisingly good condition despite going without food for at least seven days, Nair said. Annie Gowen, Washington Post, "A photo of an Indian bird with its beak shut by a plastic ring went viral. Now he's been rescued.," 13 June 2018 And while faith in the US recedes, China and Russia are nibbling at the edges of the US mantle of global leadership. Peter Ford, The Christian Science Monitor, "World sees US paying high diplomatic price for Trump's Iran deal withdrawal," 16 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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, SFChronicle.com, "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, latimes.com, "On the Town: Assistance League celebrates 75 years of service to the community," 22 May 2018 The water nibbles at the floating edges of ice sheets from below. Seth Borenstein, chicagotribune.com, "Melting of Antarctica is speeding up, worrying scientists," 13 June 2018 After the program, guests strolled across the street to The Southmore for a post-event reception with nibbles from Cordúa Catering and music on the Southmore's seventh-floor poolside deck. Joy Sewing, Houston Chronicle, "Asia Society celebrates women in fashion," 17 June 2018 Evidence to the contrary includes a fantastic lineup of opera, ballet, concerts and other programs, plus intermission nibbles care of Ramon Friexa (a local restaurant with two Michelin stars). Andrew Ferren, WSJ, "How to Spend an Indulgent Day in Madrid for $2,400—or $400," 13 June 2018 Marcy’s all play and wiggles and kisses and nibbles and more wiggles. Peggy Calhoun, idahostatesman, "Meridian Pet of the Week: Marcy | Idaho Statesman," 26 May 2018 After special themed cocktails and nibbles, guests lingered—and posed for selfies with the oversize Tyrannosaurus rex—while grooving to tracks spun by DJ Venus X. Vogue, "Coach Gets Dark With a Spooky, Fairy Tale–Inspired Disney Collection," 11 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

Verb

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

Noun

circa 1525, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nibble

Verb

origin unknown

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Learn More about nibble

Dictionary Entries near nibble

nib

Nibbana

nibber

nibble

nibble (away) at

nibby

Nibelung

Phrases Related to nibble

nibble (away) at

Statistics for nibble

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

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

nibble

verb

English Language Learners Definition of nibble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to eat slowly or with small bites

: to bite (something) very gently

nibble

noun

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

nibble

verb
nib·ble | \ ˈni-bəl \
nibbled; nibbling

Kids Definition of nibble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to bite or chew gently or bit by bit

nibble

noun

Kids Definition of nibble (Entry 2 of 2)

: a very small amount

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