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

Better actuators will make the robot faster and more nimble, and better solar cells will theoretically let the robot operate indefinitely. Matt Simon, WIRED, "What Could Possibly Be Cooler Than RoboBee? RoboBee X-Wing," 26 June 2019 Human immunity is astoundingly sensitive and nimble, capable of sensing and responding to almost any invader. Andrew Hessel, Ars Technica, "Printing vaccines at the pharmacy or at home will be the way of the future," 20 June 2019 Our tester, with an automatic and AWD, weighed in at a nimble, ready 3,255 pounds. WSJ, "Is the Mazda3 Hatchback The Best Car of 2019?," 14 June 2019 Chara, hardly nimble at 42 but still a physical presence, sat on the bench for the final period but didn’t play. Helene Elliott,, "Blues and Bruins have delivered plenty of brawn and bruises to Stanley Cup Final," 4 June 2019 Metro will be more nimble than usual, changing paths as blockages happen, said Bill Bryant, Metro service development director. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "What will the Highway 99 tunnel opening mean for bus routes, detours and tsunamis? We answer those questions and more," 12 Dec. 2018 Tasting Notes: Oregon Chardonnays Lively and energetic, rich but nimble, with flavors of herbs, nuts and citrus. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "Chardonnay, the Oregon Way," 14 June 2018 The small enrollment enables the school to be incredibly nimble, according to Babcock, allowing the administration to be attentive to every student. Ysabelle Kempe,, "Map Academy in Plymouth provides another road to graduation," 25 June 2019 In a study of more than 19,000 British adults age 50 and over who were tracked for 25 years, the habit of solving word or number puzzles seemed to help keep minds active and nimble over time. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Language insights into the games that people play," 22 June 2019

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

12 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for nimble

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on nimble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nimble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nimble

Spanish Central: Translation of nimble

Nglish: Translation of nimble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nimble for Arabic Speakers

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 form ideas or theories about something

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