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

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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 With every market disruption and industry shift, opportunities will emerge for the organizations that are nimble enough to recognize and act quickly. Ayman Sayed, Fortune, "COVID has revealed the essential value of the digital ‘pivot’," 27 Apr. 2021 The video is truly remarkable, especially Santana, who plays the guitar with his nimble, man jewelry-laden fingers. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Carlos Santana Circa Y2K Is My Man Crush Forever," 27 Apr. 2021 Yet the company proved, in this unfamiliar space, nimble as ever. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, "Review: L.A. gets its live opera back. What POP proved on an outdoor stage near Highland Park," 26 Apr. 2021 And while its sweeping wing system, which adjusted automatically for optimal performance at any speed or altitude, made the big, heavy fighter surprisingly nimble, there was more to the F-14 than fancy wings. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "Why the F-14 Tomcat Is Such a Badass Plane," 29 Mar. 2021 Gary, a more nimble forward at 6-foot-6, made his second-ever start and played a career-high 25 minutes. Mike Rodak |, al, "‘It’s winning time:’ Nate Oats explains tweak to starting lineup," 27 Mar. 2021 Despite weighing 5627 pounds—755 pounds more than a nonhybrid X5 xDrive40i—the plug-in version is surprisingly composed and nimble. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e Prioritizes Quickness and Range," 23 Mar. 2021 The Model 42, a .410 version of the Model 12 that’s light and nimble, was built in 1933. John Gordon, Outdoor Life, "3 Shotguns That Defined the Early 20th Century (and One That Was an Absolute Blunder)," 22 Mar. 2021 It’s one of his most exciting and nimble verses to date and marks a sea-change for the infamous Drake co-sign. Jeff Ihaza, Rolling Stone, "Is Drake Trying to Tell Us Something?," 10 Mar. 2021

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

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nimble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for nimble



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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