nip·​per | \ ˈni-pər How to pronounce nipper (audio) \

Definition of nipper

1 : any of various devices (such as pincers) for nipping usually used in plural
2a chiefly British : a boy employed as a helper (as of a carter or hawker)
b : child especially : a small boy

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Synonyms for nipper


boy, boychick (or boychik), boyo [Irish], callant [chiefly Scottish], lad, laddie, shaveling, shaver, sonny, stripling, tad, youth

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Examples of nipper in a Sentence

She used the nippers to prune the bush. when I was just a nipper

Recent Examples on the Web

If this spawns a generation of young nippers with a taste for human flesh, that’s on you Skittles. Melissa Locker, Time, "Zombie Skittles That Come With Rotten Surprises Are the Candy Nightmares Are Made of," 6 Aug. 2019 On one particular day, the Smallfoot actress ordered some hygiene must-haves from CVS Pharmacy, including mascara, a foot file, a cuticle nipper, body polish, and three types of nail polish. Tomás Mier,, "From Foot Files and Toothpaste to an Inflatable Bed: See Zendaya's Favorite Postmates Orders," 11 June 2019 The obvious lesson from Uruguay is to get as many nippers kicking balls as possible, to develop their technical skills. The Economist, "What makes a country good at football?," 9 June 2018 The royal corgis have included a few notorious little nippers. William Booth,, "Queen Elizabeth II loses her last corgi, Willow, marking the end of a scrappy canine dynasty," 18 Apr. 2018 The royal corgis have included a few notorious little nippers. William Booth, Washington Post, "Queen Elizabeth II loses her last corgi, Willow, marking the end of a scrappy canine dynasty," 18 Apr. 2018 The counter space has a dizzying display of nail cutters, splitters and nippers, most of which are made by the Biancos. Kaya Laterman, New York Times, "A Brooklyn Go-To for Beauticians and Butchers," 4 Apr. 2018 Each video features someone slowly ripping a (usually ingrown) nail out of its bed with a pair of cuticle nippers (yikes) — an act medical professionals in their right minds would never recommend. Sarah Kinonen, Allure, "People Are Ripping Off Their Ingrown Toenails and Filming It," 26 Oct. 2017 Unknown nipper: Cedar Lane SE, 200 block, 3:52 p.m. April 15. Washington Post, "Fairfax County Animal Watch," 25 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nipper.' 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 nipper

1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for nipper

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nipper

The first known use of nipper was in 1541

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More Definitions for nipper



English Language Learners Definition of nipper

: a device or tool that is used for cutting something
chiefly British, informal : a small child


nip·​per | \ ˈnip-ər How to pronounce nipper (audio) \

Medical Definition of nipper

1 : any of various devices (as pincers) for gripping, breaking, or cutting (as nails or cuticle) usually used in plural
2 : an incisor of a horse especially : one of the middle four incisors — compare corner tooth, divider

More from Merriam-Webster on nipper

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nipper

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nipper

Nglish: Translation of nipper for Spanish Speakers

Comments on nipper

What made you want to look up nipper? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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