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niggle

verb nig·gle \ ˈni-gəl \

Definition of niggle

niggled; niggling play \ˈni-g(ə-)liŋ\
intransitive verb
1 a :trifle
b :to spend too much effort on minor details
2 :to find fault constantly in a petty way :carp
  • she haggles, she niggles, she wears out our patience
  • —Virginia Woolf
3 :gnaw
transitive verb
:to give stingily or in tiny portions

niggler

play \ˈni-g(ə-)lər\ noun

Examples of niggle in a Sentence

  1. She had been niggled by worry her entire life.

  2. He's always niggling over small details.

Recent Examples of niggle from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'niggle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of niggle

origin unknown


2

niggle

noun

Definition of niggle

chiefly British
:a trifling doubt, objection, or complaint

Examples of niggle in a Sentence

  1. I've had a knee niggle for the past few days.

  2. He has a bit of a niggle in his back.

  3. I have a few minor niggles about the performance.

Recent Examples of niggle from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'niggle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of niggle

1865


NIGGLE Defined for English Language Learners

niggle

verb

Definition of niggle for English Language Learners

  • : to worry or annoy (someone)

  • : to argue or make criticisms about something that is not important


niggle

noun

Definition of niggle for English Language Learners

  • : a slight feeling of something (such as doubt)

  • : a slight pain

  • : a small criticism or complaint



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