nimble

adjective nim·ble \ ˈnim-bəl \
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

Definition of nimble

nimbler play \ˈnim-b(ə-)lər\; nimblest play \ˈnim-b(ə-)ləst\
1 :quick and light in motion :agile
  • nimble fingers
  • a nimble climber
2 a :marked by quick, alert, clever conception (see conception 3), comprehension (see comprehension 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

nimbleness

play \ˈnim-bəl-nəs\ noun

nimbly

play \ˈnim-blē\ adverb

Examples of nimble in a Sentence

  1. possessing a nimble wit, he always has a cutting comeback for any intended insult thrown his way

  2. her nimble fingers make knitting look so easy

Recent Examples of nimble from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

nimble Synonyms

Synonyms
alert, brainy, bright, brilliant, clever, exceptional, fast, hyperintelligent, keen, intelligent, quick, quick-witted, sharp, sharp-witted, smart, supersmart, ultrasmart
Antonyms
airheaded, birdbrained, boneheaded, brain-dead, brainless, bubbleheaded, chuckleheaded, dense, dim, dim-witted, doltish, dopey (also dopy), dorky [slang], dull, dumb, dunderheaded, empty-headed, fatuous, gormless [chiefly British], half-witted, knuckleheaded, lamebrain (or lamebrained), lunkheaded, mindless, obtuse, opaque, pinheaded, senseless, simple, slow, slow-witted, soft, softheaded, stupid, thick, thickheaded, thick-witted, unbrilliant, unintelligent, unsmart, vacuous, weak-minded, witless
Related Words
apt, ingenious, resourceful; acute, astute, discerning, heady, insightful, knowing, perceptive, percipient, perspicacious, sagacious, sapient, savvy, wise; cerebral, erudite, genial, highbrow, knowledgeable, learned, literate, scholarly, well-read; educated, informed, schooled, skilled, trained; creative, inventive, judicious, prudent, sage, sane, sapient, sensible, sound, wise; crafty, cunning, foxy, shrewd, wily; logical, rational, reasonable
Near Antonyms
feebleminded, simpleminded; boobish, foolish, half-baked, idiotic (also idiotical), imbecile (or imbecilic), moronic, silly; ignorant, illiterate, lowbrow, nonintellectual, unacademic, uneducated, uninformed, unintellectual, untaught, unthinking; absurd, asinine, balmy, cockeyed, crackpot, crazy, cuckoo, daffy, daft, dippy, dotty, featherheaded, fool, half-baked, harebrained, insane, kooky (also kookie), loony (also looney), lunatic, mad, nonsensical, nutty, preposterous, sappy, screwball, tomfool, unwise, wacky (also whacky), zany

NIMBLE Defined for English Language Learners

nimble

adjective

Definition of nimble for English Language Learners

  • : able to move quickly, easily, and lightly

  • : able to learn and understand things quickly and easily


NIMBLE Defined for Kids

nimble

adjective nim·ble \ ˈnim-bəl \

Definition of nimble for Students

nimbler; nimblest
1 :quick and light in motion :agile
  • a nimble dancer
2 :quick in understanding and learning :clever
  • a nimble mind

nimbleness

noun

nimbly

\-blē\ adverb
  • Then the vendors had to dodge nimbly to avoid being trampled under the heavy hooves …
  • —Laurence Yep, Dragonwings


Seen and Heard

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