nob·ble | \ˈnä-bəl \
nobbled; nobbling\ˈnä-b(ə-)liŋ \

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

c : swindle, cheat

d : to get hold of : catch

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Other Words from nobble

nobbler \ˈnä-b(ə-)lər \ 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

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Dictionary Entries near nobble


no ball






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The first known use of nobble was in 1847

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English Language Learners Definition of nobble

: 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)

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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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