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 In crisis situations, outsourcing makes the country less nimble and more reliant on foreign labor. Dallas News, "Curbing partisanship to embracing American spirit: 5 things the coronavirus fight has taught us," 17 May 2020 The potential is there to break the decade-long timeline to develop new vaccines, making health professionals more nimble in the face of evolving threats., "Record Pace of Coronavirus Trials Could Be New Normal for Vaccines," 8 May 2020 Now, nimble fingers are working to protect lives instead, making medical outfits for hospital workers who face a surge of coronavirus patients. NBC News, "Rio samba schools set Carnival costume aside, start sewing scrubs," 10 Apr. 2020 The following actors have all capitalized on years of serious dance training to make their characters nimble and dynamic, not to mention immortal. Washington Post, "These 18 movie stars are also amazing dancers. That’s their real superpower.," 9 Jan. 2020 Evers argues the process will bog down decision making that needs to be nimble to react to an unpredictable virus that has infected more than 8,000 people in Wisconsin in two months. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lawsuit to block Tony Evers' order to stay home before Supreme Court today," 5 May 2020 Coordinators employ the advantage of surprise with big, fast, nimble players who can line up in a variety of places. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions must be bold in 2020 NFL draft or risk falling further behind," 23 Apr. 2020 The various missives were filmed by cast members in their own homes and assembled into something legible by SNL’s nimble post-production team. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The First Quarantine Episode of Saturday Night Live Was Historic," 12 Apr. 2020 The species’ increasingly nimble brain allowed it to outsmart other animals by fashioning tools, collaborating with others, and perhaps even pondering the future. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 2 Apr. 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

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nimble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 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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