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

Other Words from nimble

nimbleness \ ˈnim-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce nimble (audio) \ noun
nimbly \ ˈnim-​blē How to pronounce nimble (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 Bowman credits her better-than-average performance during the pandemic to learning how to be nimble when her top three customers reduced spending dramatically during her first year in business. Geri Stengel, Forbes, 22 June 2022 Perelman also said that the company was learning from celebrity launches to be more nimble and that Revlon had regained market share. Lauren Hirsch,, 16 June 2022 Perelman also said that the company was learning from celebrity launches like Kylie to be more nimble. Arkansas Online, 16 June 2022 These buyers, who are more nimble than big companies, were responsible for nearly three-quarters of retail-asset acquisitions in 2021, a 30% increase from the 10-year historical average, according to real-estate services firm JLL . Kate King, WSJ, 14 June 2022 Other people thrive in more nimble, entrepreneurial environments. George Deeb, Forbes, 6 June 2022 But government rules that might have ensured a more thorough vetting are suspended during emergencies, such as a pandemic, to allow a more nimble response. Anjeanette Damon, ProPublica, 20 May 2022 For the handful of researchers who have long pushed the pain field to recognize a more nimble role for inflammation in the body, though, the results are a major breakthrough. Jason Mast, STAT, 14 May 2022 Many of the rules are now tied to California Department of Public Health guidelines, giving them more flexibility since that agency can be more nimble in adapting to changing conditions. Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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nimble Kate

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Last Updated

30 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nimble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for nimble


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

More from Merriam-Webster on nimble

Nglish: Translation of nimble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nimble for Arabic Speakers


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