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

Definition of nobble

transitive verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from nobble

nobbler \ ˈnä-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce nobbler (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 Lacking a supermajority to amend the constitution, PiS did the next best thing and nobbled the constitutional tribunal. The Economist, "Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party is doing lasting damage," 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, "The EU should get tough on its illiberal democracies," 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nobble

Time Traveler for nobble

Time Traveler

The first known use of nobble was in 1847

See more words from the same year

Statistics for nobble

Cite this Entry

“Nobble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nobble


How to pronounce nobble (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nobble

British, informal
: to give a drug to (a horse) to keep it from winning a race
: to cause or force (someone) to do something that you want by offering money, making threats, etc.
: to succeed in getting or catching (something or someone)

More from Merriam-Webster on nobble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nobble

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nobble

Comments on nobble

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of probity?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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