nob·​ble | \ ˈnä-bəl How to pronounce nobble (audio) \
nobbled; nobbling\ ˈnä-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce nobble (audio) \

Definition of nobble

transitive verb

1 British : to incapacitate (a racehorse) especially by drugging
2 British slang
a : to win over to one's side
b : steal
c : swindle, cheat
d : to get hold of : catch

Other Words from nobble

nobbler \ ˈnä-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce nobble (audio) \ noun

Examples of nobble in a Sentence

We found out later that the horse had been nobbled, which explained its poor performance. She was trying to nobble the jury.
Recent Examples on the Web Poland’s ruling party has tried to nobble the courts and the civil service. The Economist, 31 Oct. 2019 Lacking a supermajority to amend the constitution, PiS did the next best thing and nobbled the constitutional tribunal. The Economist, 21 Apr. 2018 In Hungary, having nobbled the courts, media and public prosecutor, Viktor Orban is squeezing civil society and using state (and EU) funds to nurture oligarchs. The Economist, 19 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nobble.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of nobble

1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nobble

perhaps irregular frequentative of nab

Learn More About nobble

Dictionary Entries Near nobble




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for nobble

Cite this Entry

“Nobble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!