\ 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 Expect a similar drop after Wednesday’s move, nudging down the monthly payment on a new $25,000 car by just $3 a month after factoring in all three decreases since July. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Those Fed cuts are adding up. Here's how lower interest rates affect credit card, mortgage and savings rates," 30 Oct. 2019 Lam bristled at a suggestion that the ban nudges Hong Kong closer to the authoritarian rule imposed by the Communist Party across the rest of China., "“We must save Hong Kong, the present Hong Kong and the future Hong Kong,” she said. “We must stop the violence ... we can’t just leave the situation to get worse and worse.”," 5 Oct. 2019 Carrie Lam bristled at a suggestion that the mask ban nudged Hong Kong closer to authoritarian rule. John Leicester And Eileen Ng,, "Thousands protest mask ban as Hong Kong leader toughens stance," 4 Oct. 2019 Carrie Lam bristled at a suggestion that the mask ban nudged Hong Kong closer to authoritarian rule., "Thousands protest mask ban as Hong Kong leader toughens stance," 4 Oct. 2019 Among the plans now being deployed are personalized mailers nudging customers to get their card immediately and changes to the DMV’s website to clarify the steps customers need to take to get a Real ID. Bryan Anderson, The Mercury News, "Gov. Gavin Newsom warns of longer wait times at DMV," 23 July 2019 To wit, Mario Maker 2 features a set of level design tutorials this time around, nudging players toward Nintendo's philosophy of level design. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "The Super Mario Maker 2 Community Is a Haven of Player Creativity," 10 July 2019 Nicole gets an acting gig on a TV show in L.A. and, after being nudged to make the best deal for herself and Henry, her and Charlie’s eight-year-old son, settles into the couch of an expensively clad viper played by Laura Dern. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Divorce, Brooklyn Style," 8 Oct. 2019 The ship was nudged pierside by tugs to sit next to a Chinese Navy Type 071 warship, also an amphibious vessel. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "China Launches Its First Amphibious Assault Ship," 2 Oct. 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.

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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

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Nudge.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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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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

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to assail by words or arguments

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