nim·​ble | \ ˈnim-bəl How to pronounce nimble (audio) \
nimbler\ ˈnim-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce nimbler (audio) \; nimblest\ ˈnim-​b(ə-​)ləst How to pronounce nimblest (audio) \

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 How to pronounce nimbleness (audio) \ noun
nimbly \ ˈnim-​blē How to pronounce nimbly (audio) \ 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 Independent third-party contractors with their own fleets of cargo vans proved a cheaper, more nimble option. James Bandler, ProPublica, "Inside Documents Show How Amazon Chose Speed Over Safety in Building Its Delivery Network," 28 Dec. 2019 Umpqua chief banking officer Tory Nixon said mid-sized companies like Summit are more nimble than larger Fortune 500 firms. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "Mid-sized American companies are already moving away from China," 4 Dec. 2019 Specialty-focused organizations tended to be more nimble than larger and more diversified organizations. Teresa Leste, STAT, "Specialization improves return on capital in the life sciences," 23 Oct. 2019 Rivals such as Taiwan’s TSMC, which makes chips for clients including Apple, and AMD—which competes with Intel’s server chips—have shown themselves more nimble and efficient with R&D spending, Rasgon says. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "Intel's New Chip Wizard Has a Plan to Bring Back the Magic," 3 July 2019 And company leaders need to think deeply about how to best equip their COOs with the tools, mindset, and skills that will help them be simultaneously nimble and grounded enough to succeed. Stefanos Zenios, Quartz at Work, "The role of COO is evolving, and it’s more important than ever," 8 Jan. 2020 Instead of considering the best comparator compound and the easiest way to copy past programs, drug developers need to become more nimble and innovative. Richard Ghalie, STAT, "Improving the next generation of drugs through patient-centric design for clinical trials," 26 Dec. 2019 In the AFC Championship game on Sunday, Mahomes tore up the Tennessee Titans with his nimble feet and graceful arm—sending Kansas City to its first Super Bowl in 50 years. Sean Gregory, Time, "Patrick Mahomes Is Headed for NFL Icon Status at Super Bowl LIV—Unless the 49ers Sterling Defense Can Stop Him," 20 Jan. 2020 Blessed with soft hands and nimble feet, Sawyer constantly moved out taller Tritons with his strong frame. Mitch Stephens,, "Big shot from 14-year-old freshman Jalen Lewis carries O’Dowd past Campolindo," 20 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for nimble

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for nimble

Last Updated

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nimble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for nimble


How to pronounce nimble (audio)

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 How to pronounce nimble (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nimble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nimble

Spanish Central: Translation of nimble

Nglish: Translation of nimble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nimble for Arabic Speakers

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