nif·​ty | \ ˈnif-tē How to pronounce nifty (audio) \
niftier; niftiest

Definition of nifty

 (Entry 1 of 2)

informal : very good: such as
a : very attractive or appealing nifty clothes Jon Gnagy was an artist—you could tell this by the nifty goatee he wore …— Andy Meisler
b : very pleasant or enjoyable a nifty performance … this barrier isle off North Carolina's southernmost coast still provides a nifty getaway.— Spike Gillespie The Smithereens consistently present nifty, driving songs, quite involved by pop standards.— David Hiltbrand
c : very interesting or clever : ingenious a nifty device The museum's gift shop is well-stocked, complete with a nifty machine that, for $1, will crush a fresh penny into a copper medal bearing the likeness of T. Rex.— Carl Wayne Arrington Some investors are catching on to a nifty tax-saving trick allowable by Roth IRA rules.— Karen Hube
d : well-executed A fan leaned out of the stands and made a nifty grab of the ricochet, and received a nice round of applause.— George Vecsay


plural nifties

Definition of nifty (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is nifty especially : a clever or neatly turned phrase or joke

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Other Words from nifty


niftily \ ˈnif-​tə-​lē How to pronounce niftily (audio) \ adverb
Harrison is an upwardly mobile … young man with a wife, son and a niftily restored house in San Francisco. — John J. O'Connor

Synonyms & Antonyms for nifty

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of nifty in a Sentence

Adjective a nifty pair of shoes This nifty little machine can do just about anything. Noun though ostensibly a drama, the play is filled with zingy little nifties that lighten the mood that joke was a nifty
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Docekal, meanwhile, threw for 78 yards on a nifty 11-of-13 passing night. The Arizona Republic, "Week 2 Arizona high school football roundup: Saguaro shuts out Brophy in opener," 9 Oct. 2020 The Patriots answered behind a long run from Damien Harris, who had just been activated off IR, and a nifty catch by N’Keal Harry in the end zone. Dave Skretta,, "Chiefs lean on defense to beat Patriots 26-10 in COVID-19-delayed game," 6 Oct. 2020 The Patriots answered behind a long run from Damien Harris, who had just been activated off IR, and a nifty catch by N’Keal Harry in the end zone. oregonlive, "Kansas City uses defense to defeat the New England Patriots: Recap, score, stats and more," 5 Oct. 2020 To be pleasurably bamboozled, try this nifty scientific thriller by a onetime Washington Post reporter who writes prizewinning novels over breakfast at a Virginia Hardee’s. Washington Post, "Five excellent new thrillers and mysteries take us back to the pre-covid-19 era," 5 Oct. 2020 Johnston completed 12 of 16 passes for 343 yards and three TDs for Hobart (4-2, 1-1), including a 65-yarder to a wide-open Marc Enslen on a nifty play-action and a 76-yard screen to Zach Vode. Michael Osipoff,, "Riley Johnston passes for 343 yards, rushes for 116 yards and totals five touchdowns in Hobart’s win against Kankakee Valley," 2 Oct. 2020 Karl Ouimette with some nifty stepovers to create space to get the cross off. Kevin Johnston, The Indianapolis Star, "Indy Eleven blow chance to clinch playoff berth; season on line Saturday," 1 Oct. 2020 Chiefs receiver Sammy Watkins beat Peters one-on-one to convert on third-and-9 as the Baltimore defensive front failed to put any pressure on Mahomes, who then finished his vivisection with a nifty shovel pass to Anthony Sherman for touchdown No. 2. Childs Walker,, "Five Things We Learned from the Ravens’ 34-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs," 29 Sep. 2020 The switch paid off on Pavelski’s goal in the first period, which was set up by a nifty outlet pass by Radulov to Benn, and then a smooth pass from Benn to a streaking Pavelski. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Tyler Seguin had one of his best performances this postseason in Stars' Game 4 loss," 26 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In 2015, Uber used nifty in-app graphics that generated rider outcry to beat back a vehicle cap proposed by New York mayor Bill De Blasio. Aarian Marshall, Wired, "What Happens If Uber and Lyft Flee California? Look at Austin," 20 Aug. 2020 The lone goal of the match was scored by Inda-Felix, who put the ball in the lower left corner of the net following a nifty through pass from Mike Robles. Dave Mendonca, The Mercury News, "Willow Glen, Rose Garden: Lincoln boys open CCS soccer playoffs with back-to-back shutout wins," 2 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nifty.' 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 nifty


1865, in the meaning defined above


1918, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nifty


origin unknown

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Time Traveler for nifty

Time Traveler

The first known use of nifty was in 1865

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Statistics for nifty

Last Updated

20 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nifty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for nifty


How to pronounce nifty (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nifty

informal + somewhat old-fashioned : very good, useful, or attractive


nif·​ty | \ ˈnif-tē How to pronounce nifty (audio) \
niftier; niftiest

Kids Definition of nifty

: very unusual and attractive a nifty outfit

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Nglish: Translation of nifty for Spanish Speakers

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