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nif·​ty ˈnif-tē How to pronounce nifty (audio)
niftier; niftiest
informal : very good: such as
: very attractive or appealing
nifty clothes
Jon Gnagy was an artist—you could tell this by the nifty goatee he wore …Andy Meisler
: 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
: 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
: 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
niftily adverb
Harrison is an upwardly mobile … young man with a wife, son and a niftily restored house in San Francisco. John J. O'Connor


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

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Ferguson scored the first TD of his career on a nifty move on a 7-yard catch in the fourth quarter. Dallas News, 17 Oct. 2022 Baxter freed himself on a nifty spin move at the line of scrimmage that left West Orange players in disbelief. Chris Hays, Orlando Sentinel, 10 Sep. 2022 Even Pat Maroon reprised his role as Stars villain with a nifty assist. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, 17 Mar. 2021 This nifty accessory is designed to keep track of your luggage and anything else that may get lost en route, like your wallet, keys, or backpack. Toni Sutton, Peoplemag, 9 Dec. 2022 According to Magonis, the nifty floating device is easy to install. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 7 Dec. 2022 For the person who spends days hunched over a computer, this nifty tabletop vacuum is no match for crumbs and dust that will inevitably nestle into their desktop and keyboard. Cailey Lindberg And Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, 6 Dec. 2022 In 2022, Campbell directed Guy Pearce and Liam Neeson in Memory, a nifty, old-fashioned exploitation movie that's well worth catching up with. Declan Gallagher,, 6 Dec. 2022 The quarterback hit him with a quickie, DeVante Parker threw a nifty post-up block, and Jones showed off his quicks, outracing the defense 48 yards to the end zone and a 7-3 lead. Jim Mcbride,, 2 Dec. 2022
The bleeding continued at 15:05 of the first when Kotkaniemi made it 2-0 with a nifty backhand tuck at the base of the left post. Kevin Paul Dupont,, 25 Nov. 2022 His next points came via a nifty behind-the-back pass from Orlando Lovejoy on a fastbreak which led to an easy layup for Bates. Tony Garcia, Detroit Free Press, 12 Nov. 2022 A few minutes after Madore hit the crossbar on a free kick, the Cardinals made it 2-0 with 17 minutes left in the first half when junior Ryan Belal scored from 14 yards out off a nifty through ball from Angelini. Glenn Graham, Baltimore Sun, 23 Sep. 2022 Already leading from a nifty and shifty 19-yard touchdown run by Jermaine Brown Jr. on the opening drive game, the UAB special teams unit felt like getting in on the fun. Evan Dudley, al, 1 Sep. 2022 The first came on a nifty, 9-yard cutback run by tailback Rayshon Luke (who had gained 21 yards on a screen pass on the previous play). Michael Lev, The Arizona Republic, 16 Aug. 2022 This nifty trick is predicated on the idea that the Level 2 car has some form of sensor devices such as video cameras, radar, LIDAR, or the like that are used to detect vehicles that are ahead of the Level 2 car. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Murphy beds have surged in popularity in the last decade or so, and there are now plans available that include shelving units, desks and other nifty, stylish adaptations. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, 26 May 2022 This nifty trick is predicated on the idea that the Level 2 car has some form of sensor devices such as video cameras, radar, LIDAR, or the like that are used to detect vehicles that are ahead of the Level 2 car. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 5 May 2022 See More

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.

Word History



origin unknown

First Known Use


1865, in the meaning defined above


1918, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nifty was in 1865

Dictionary Entries Near nifty

Cite this Entry

“Nifty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


niftier; niftiest
: very good : very attractive
nifty noun

More from Merriam-Webster on nifty

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