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 Small companies run by a few decision makers can be especially nimble, and many contracted quickly when faced with the pandemic, said Eric Willett, CBRE’s regional director of research. Roger Vincent Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Beyond Meat signs a big lease. The rest of L.A.'s office market struggles," 15 Jan. 2021 King’s attention to it as nimble and unpredictable as the dialogue itself, and creates an atmosphere of restlessness and spontaneity, that nervous, exhilarating feeling that this night could go anywhere. New York Times, "One Night in Miami," 14 Jan. 2021 During an hour-long excursion, visitors will encounter an animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Brachiosaurus and nimble Velociraptors, among other sharp-clawed prehistoric creatures, without leaving the car. Suzanne Pfefferle Tafur,, "Drive-thru dinosaur experience conjures up Jurassic Park at a local convention center," 12 Jan. 2021 The states that have proved most nimble in getting the largest share of their residents injected in the early weeks have been mostly small and rural, not celebrated health care magnets like Massachusetts, New York, or Texas. Globe Correspondent,, "Officials find gun that could be linked to domestic dispute, trooper assault on Route 110 in Methuen," 9 Jan. 2021 While Wonder Woman has lately been commanding media attention with her gaudy, sentimental take on the power of positive thinking, Zorro commits to social action without losing his nimble sense of humor. Washington Post, "Zorro at 100: Why the original swashbuckler is still the quintessential American action hero," 1 Jan. 2021 Fast and nimble, the F-11 was only the second supersonic fighter in the Navy's inventory, capable of 843 miles per hour (Mach 1.1). Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Fighter Plane That Shot Itself Down," 28 Dec. 2020 Diess, 62, received a fresh vote of confidence from the VW supervisory board this month to make the sprawling industrial conglomerate more nimble after internal wrangling had spooked investors. Christoph Rauwald,, "VW CEO Says Apple Can Mount Major Challenge With Auto Push," 23 Dec. 2020 Ski-area operators are planning to stay nimble as public-health conditions change. Fortune, "Sales are up for the ski and snowboard industry despite COVID lockdowns," 16 Dec. 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

25 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nimble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on nimble

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