\ 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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from nudge

nudge noun
nudger noun

Synonyms for nudge


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web But attitudes are changing, nudged forward by legislation and litigation. Globe Staff,, "Seven jails start providing medications for addiction in pilot program," 5 Sep. 2019 And that the Norwegians can nudge them in the right direction. CBS News, "Transcript: Juan Cruz talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 14 Aug. 2019 Investors do not think that central banks are on track to nudge inflation up any time soon. The Economist, "As yields turn negative, investors are having to pay for safety," 8 Aug. 2019 Jeralt is nudged back into the fold of the Knights of Seiros and, in a head-turning career elevation which may depress post-grads struggling on the job market, Byleth is made a professor at the Academy on Alois’s recommendation. Washington Post, "‘Fire Emblem: The Three Houses’ is a fun strategy game — if you have enough hours in the day," 26 July 2019 To keep sales going, all a retailer has to do is ensure customers stick to the brand, keep coming back to the store, and nudge them to spend more. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "The “Zara of small-town India” is unfazed by Walmart and Amazon," 23 July 2019 Stocks shook off an early wobble to eke out small gains Tuesday, nudging the S&P 500 index to an all-time high for the second straight day. Alex Veiga,, "Stocks rebound, S&P 500 hits a record again," 2 July 2019 They hadn’t needed to push themselves against Thailand or Chile and were moderately nudged by Sweden in group play. Helene Elliott,, "Megan Rapinoe’s sure-footed determination is powering U.S. in World Cup," 24 June 2019 Wages at big banks began nudging up a few years ago as industry profits reached their highest levels since the financial crisis. oregonlive, "Bank of America to raise minimum wage to $20 a hour by 2021," 9 Apr. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of nudge

1675, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for nudge

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nudge

Statistics for nudge

Last Updated

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for nudge

The first known use of nudge was in 1675

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on nudge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nudge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nudge

Spanish Central: Translation of nudge

Nglish: Translation of nudge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nudge for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nudge

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


a calculated move

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!