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

The same tight go-kart course that tripped up the Expedition gave the nimble X2 a huge advantage. Tom Voelk, New York Times, "26 Vehicles Played in the Mud. Here’s the Dirt.," 12 July 2018 But Jones – just four years removed from trying to prove himself on the short tracks – still loves racing the lighter, more nimble cars in big events. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Erik Jones could have celebrated his first NASCAR Cup win all night, but the Slinger Nationals were calling," 10 July 2018 The company's chief executive, Tim Ellis, told SpaceNews, the Pentagon favors nimble suppliers that can manufacture products fast. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Japanese rocket blows up, NASA chief ponders purpose of SLS," 6 July 2018 Brazil’s government has given Embraer relative freedom, standing back as the company purchased most of its parts from foreign players and announced heavy layoffs in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to remain nimble. Samantha Pearson And Jeffrey Lewis, WSJ, "Boeing-Embraer Deal Faces Political Backlash in Brazil," 6 July 2018 After nearly three decades in the music industry, the group proved its vitality through airtight harmonies and nimble dance moves. Brandon T. Harden,, "Jill Scott, Boyz II Men deliver sizzling homecoming performances at WDAS Summer Block Party," 1 July 2018 Supposedly invulnerable businesses are challenged by nimble upstarts with disruptive ideas. Jeff Jacoby,, "Don’t break up Google — the market will sort everything out," 14 June 2018 In the early days of drone use, filmmakers quickly realized how useful these nimble devices were for close-up action shots. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "How Drones Are Revolutionizing the Way Film and Television Is Made," 31 May 2018 No amount of nimble iteration or cool new features can bridge a gap of trust. Nick Statt, The Verge, "The never-ending Destiny 2 controversy is a teachable moment for the game industry," 30 Mar. 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

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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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).


to express warning or disapproval

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