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 nifty (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 Joe Burrow followed by a nifty 53-yard return across the north goal line. Dan Wiederer,, 20 Sep. 2021 On a screen pass, DePillo connected with Clark, who made a pair of nifty moves, to score on a 41-yard play with 10:22 left in the second for a 21-7 advantage. Brad Emons, Detroit Free Press, 18 Sep. 2021 Hines' receiving ability forced Seattle to keep corner D.J. Reed on him, and the running back still created separation with a nifty in-breaking route for a 10-yard completion. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, 18 Sep. 2021 Before the 2020 pandemic shutdown, Mars was bringing in a nifty selection of concerts, ranging from bluegrass phenom Billy Strings to modern rockers Alter Bridge. Matt Wake |, al, 17 Sep. 2021 Comeau drilled multiple kicks from more than 40 yards out, using nifty footwork to skirt defenders., 16 Sep. 2021 Humans generally do a nifty job of categorizing or classifying objects. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 The education nonprofit EdSource has come up with a nifty chart of just how that funding windfall is going to be distributed. Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2021 But a friend did forward me this nifty chart that shows a whopping 74 college basketball programs with five or more players in the transfer portal (see image below from March 26, source unknown). Steven F. Shundich, The Enquirer, 1 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And while Europe was ahead in three of the afternoon fourballs, Scheffler’s 15-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole and his nifty up-and-down for birdie on the next hole carried him and Bryson DeChambeau to victory in the final match on the course. Doug Ferguson,, 26 Sep. 2021 Just before the half, O’Donnell took a nifty through ball from Newburyport teammate Max Gagnon and tapped it in near post., 29 Aug. 2021 Victor Hedman, who set up Rutta’s goal with a nifty backhand feed, hammered a slapper through Price., 4 July 2021 The first film, 2013’s The Purge, used that idea mostly as a nifty but vague backdrop for a fun, slightly futuristic home-invasion thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 1 July 2021 Kendrick Bourne made a nifty, leaping fingertip catch on a sideline throw from Hoyer., 10 June 2021 James threw a nifty behind-the-back pass to Ben McLemore. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, 31 May 2021 Rogers displayed some nifty running on his 70-yard touchdown, catching a short pass on the left sideline and then meandering his way across the field, point at blocker all the way, before eventually scoring in the right side of the end zone. Chris Hays,, 22 May 2021 Hinostroza put Chicago back ahead 2-1 at 10:09 with a nifty, on-the-fly tip-in of Brandon Hagel's pinpoint feed to the right edge of the crease. Matt Carlson, Star Tribune, 29 Apr. 2021

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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Last Updated

27 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nifty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for nifty



English Language Learners Definition of nifty

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on nifty

Nglish: Translation of nifty for Spanish Speakers


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