\ ˈnəj How to pronounce nudge (audio) \
nudged; nudging

Definition of nudge

transitive verb

1 : to touch or push gently nudged the cue ball with the tip of the cue.— Paul Theroux especially : to seek the attention of by a push of the elbow nudged Ron in the ribs and pointed at Malfoy … — J. K. Rowling
2 : to prod lightly : urge into action … have been nudged into starting their own ventures …— Janet Bamford
3 : approach its circulation is nudging the four million mark— Bennett Cerf

intransitive verb

: to give a nudge She nudged and jostled through the crowd.

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Other Words from nudge

nudge noun
nudger noun

Synonyms for nudge


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Examples of nudge in a Sentence

I nudged the plate closer to him. The guard nudged the prisoner forward. The dog nudged the ball with his nose. He nudged me and pointed to the deer. The salesman nudged her into testing out the car. Album sales are nudging the one million mark. The price of gold has nudged a little higher.
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Recent Examples on the Web Those are all things that can help nudge a stubborn pimple away. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "Is It Possible to Get Rid of a Pimple Overnight?," 30 Dec. 2020 Wolves prefer eating native wild animals, and depleted deer or elk populations nudge them toward abundant sheep and cattle. Max G. Levy, Smithsonian Magazine, "These Non-Lethal Methods Encouraged by Science Can Keep Wolves From Killing Livestock," 11 Dec. 2020 Win, and the Bruins are back to .500 for only the second time in the Kelly era with a chance to nudge themselves above that threshold for the first time next weekend with a victory over Arizona State. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "Just win, baby? Success will be needed to sustain UCLA’s Chip Kelly era," 27 Nov. 2020 Retailers have sometimes attempted to nudge Black Friday earlier in the month to extend the peak shopping season. Popsci Commerce Team, Popular Science, "The best Black Friday deals 2020: The best early deals and sales at Samsung, Best Buy, Walmart, and more," 10 Nov. 2020 The 55-plus community is to have 1,350 homes on 700 acres that nudge against Split Oak Forest. Kevin Spear,, "Saving Split Oak Forest: A Bruising Environmental Battle on the Ballot," 16 Oct. 2020 Temperatures will nudge just above 70 degrees during the day Friday, about five or six degrees lower than normal. Chris Perkins,, "As northeast digs out from a major snowstorm, cooler air is about to return to South Florida," 17 Dec. 2020 In Obama’s telling, external pressures—the Republicans, the press—always nudge him toward loneliness. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "The Distinct Political Paths of Barack Obama and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez," 10 Dec. 2020 Many ski-area restaurants will nudge diners to access menus and order by phone. Los Angeles Times, "Here’s what pandemic-era skiing and snowboarding will look like this winter," 25 Nov. 2020

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

1675, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for nudge

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for nudge

Time Traveler

The first known use of nudge was in 1675

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Statistics for nudge

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nudge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for nudge


How to pronounce nudge (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nudge

: to touch or push (someone or something) gently
: to push (someone) gently with your elbow in order to get that person's attention
: to encourage (someone) to do something


\ ˈnəj How to pronounce nudge (audio) \
nudged; nudging

Kids Definition of nudge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to touch or push gently The teacher nudged her students back to class.
2 : to attract the attention of by touching or pushing gently (as with the elbow) He nudged me and pointed to the huge cake on the table.



Kids Definition of nudge (Entry 2 of 2)

: a slight push Judy gave Peter a nudge to wake him.— Chris Van Allsburg, Jumanji

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