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

transitive verb

British : to incapacitate (a racehorse) especially by drugging
British slang
: to win over to one's side
: steal
: to get hold of : catch
nobbler 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nobble.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps irregular frequentative of nab

First Known Use

1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nobble was in 1847

Dictionary Entries Near nobble

Cite this Entry

“Nobble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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