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 Other watchmakers who’ve donated unique pieces—most of them small, independent and nimble enough to pull the project together quickly—include anOrdain, Fears, Brew, Norqain, Furlan Marri, Arcanaut and William Wood. Victoria Gomelsky, Robb Report, 25 Mar. 2022 This knife is nimble enough to chop vegetables and herbs, and sturdy enough to get through tough cuts of meat like ribs, whole chickens, or tenderloins where a shorter knife may not do the job. Magdalena O'neal, Sunset Magazine, 17 Mar. 2022 Although the Covid-19 pandemic has arguably brought more challenges to business owners than solutions, those who are nimble enough to find opportunities in turmoil, and ride the waves no matter how choppy, will survive and potentially flourish. Melanie Fine, Forbes, 10 Dec. 2021 The actors are nimble with Letts’ mordant, deceptively situational humor, and in embodying their characters’ chilling complacency. Naveen Kumar, Variety, 17 Apr. 2022 Their innovations include more nimble systems for managing warehouses and tracking inventory. Christopher Mims, WSJ, 12 Feb. 2022 Those are typically played but tight ends or more nimble receivers like Redd, who at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, is one of the smallest players on the roster regardless of position. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 29 Aug. 2021 This involves less risk and expense compared to relying solely on internal R&D that has proven risky and expensive, especially when large projects fail while more nimble competitors and challengers succeed. Hank Torbert, Forbes, 16 June 2021 The brothers have to remain nimble, bouncing between editing videos of a Cavs opening to helping a bullet point come to life on an executive’s speech. Marc Bona, cleveland, 1 June 2021 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.

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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

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

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nimble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 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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