nim·​ble | \ ˈnim-bəl \
nimbler\ ˈnim-​b(ə-​)lər \; nimblest\ ˈnim-​b(ə-​)ləst \

Definition of nimble

1 : quick and light in motion : agile nimble fingers a nimble climber
2a : marked by quick, alert, clever conception (see conception sense 3), comprehension (see comprehension sense 1a), or resourcefulness a nimble mind nimble investors
b : responsive, sensitive a nimble listener nothing like playacting to make you nimble in your feelings— Mary Austin

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Other Words from nimble

nimbleness \ ˈnim-​bəl-​nəs \ noun
nimbly \ ˈnim-​blē \ adverb

Examples of nimble in a Sentence

possessing a nimble wit, he always has a cutting comeback for any intended insult thrown his way her nimble fingers make knitting look so easy

Recent Examples on the Web

Suddenly this thing that felt very nimble and very agile and maybe just working with three partners, had swollen to 16. Eric Johnson, Recode, "General Magic tried to invent a smartphone in the 1990s. This is why it failed.," 30 July 2018 Scott's Spin: This episode made me appreciate how nimble the show has become at shifting Scott from villain to hero, episode by episode. Lauren Hoffman, Cosmopolitan, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians Focuses on the Sisters Hanging Out, Just Like the Good Old Days," 22 May 2017 The works are shown in a nimble, nonchronological suite of galleries, and some of its century-spanning juxtapositions are bracing; others feel reductive, even dilettantish. New York Times, "23 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 12 July 2018 But the model, which allows companies to be nimble and save on labor costs, is core to these businesses., "How incentives in the gig economy put workers at risk," 31 May 2018 Pair Sport mode with Dynamic+ steering, and the result is a crossover that feels light, fast, and nimble. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Variable-compression engine meets crossover: Infiniti QX50 review," 8 Nov. 2018 Fast and nimble, the F-11 was only the second supersonic fighter in the Navy's inventory, capable of 843 miles an hour (Mach 1.1). Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Fighter Plane That Shot Itself Down," 28 Aug. 2017 Phillips, of course, has the advantage of being lighter and nimbler than its counterparts. Vicky Ward, Town & Country, "Buyer's Remorse: Inside the Art World's Billion-Dollar Rivalry," 4 Mar. 2015 In a world where personal transportation will increasingly be defined by the need for nimble city cars that can whizz populations across ever denser urban landscapes, this big lumbering transporter seems out of place. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Volvo’s 360c concept has softened my cynicism about autonomous cars," 6 Sep. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nimble

Middle English nimel, from Old English numol holding much, from niman to take; akin to Old High German neman to take, Greek nemein to distribute, manage, nomos pasture, nomos usage, custom, law

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Dictionary Entries near nimble





nimble Kate

nimble will


Statistics for nimble

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for nimble

The first known use of nimble was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of nimble

: able to move quickly, easily, and lightly

: able to learn and understand things quickly and easily


nim·​ble | \ ˈnim-bəl \
nimbler; nimblest

Kids Definition of nimble

1 : quick and light in motion : agile a nimble dancer
2 : quick in understanding and learning : clever a nimble mind

Other Words from nimble

nimbleness noun
nimbly \ -​blē \ adverb Then the vendors had to dodge nimbly to avoid being trampled under the heavy hooves … — Laurence Yep, Dragonwings

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More from Merriam-Webster on nimble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nimble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nimble

Spanish Central: Translation of nimble

Nglish: Translation of nimble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nimble for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nimble

What made you want to look up nimble? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a complex dispute or argument

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