nib·​ble | \ ˈni-bəl How to pronounce nibble (audio) \
nibbled; nibbling\ ˈni-​b(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce nibble (audio) \

Definition of nibble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to bite gently
b : to eat or chew in small bits
2 : to take away bit by bit waves nibbling the shore

intransitive verb

1 : to take gentle, small, or cautious bites also : snack
2 : to deal with something as if by nibbling



Definition of nibble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of nibbling
2 : a very small quantity or portion (as of food) also : snack
3 : a tentative expression of interest

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Other Words from nibble


nibbler \ ˈni-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce nibble (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for nibble

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of nibble in a Sentence

Verb We nibbled cheese and crackers. We nibbled on some cheese and crackers before dinner. Noun He felt a nibble on his fishing line. They served some delicious nibbles before dinner.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Perhaps some staple stocks are just what investors need to nibble on after the sell-off. Jj Kinahan, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021 Bats can also nibble at food like fruit leaving them contaminated with viruses. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 7 Sep. 2021 Cruachan IV has attracted attention in previous years for attempting to eat the Queen’s posy of flowers in 2017 and also for trying to nibble Prince Harry’s hand in 2018. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, 9 Aug. 2021 Fowler-Finn is also studying a bizarre behavior in which some postcoital males from one species will nibble on their mate’s second leg and … jiggle it. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 3 Aug. 2021 What to bring: Bug spray will be a useful item to bring, as mosquitoes and horse flies like to nibble on hikers. Patrick Connolly,, 2 July 2021 The incisors are intended to nibble the last scraps of meat off bones, but if Bear eats regular dog food, his incisors should look normal. Lee Pickett, Arkansas Online, 17 May 2021 My mother had her own lost causes: cats with terminal diseases, former show dogs abandoned in shelters, her boyfriend from the bus riders’ union who slept in a riverbed and complained that the coyotes came at night to nibble on his toes. Jason Brown, The New Yorker, 2 May 2021 While humans enjoy their traditional meat and cheese charcuterie boards, doggos can nibble on a plate loaded with cheese, apples, blueberries, carrots, peanut butter and puppy treats. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 14 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Bavarian tavern snack: Some longtime Wisconsin taverns and supper clubs still offer patrons a free nibble of crackers and cheese, and the cheese spreads pay homage mostly to cheddar. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 22 Sep. 2020 Drinks were modeled after the four elements—Air, Earth, Fire, and Water—and enjoyed before guests moved into the ballroom for delectable and warming nibbles such as truffle lobster risotto and the signature chicken pie. Vogue, 30 Nov. 2018 He was even permitted a few nibbles of the grass lawn. oregonlive, 2 May 2020 Stores are looking closely at developing curbside-pickup-delivery initiatives, so the toothpick-spearing days for a nibble of diced cheese, cube of meat or dessert cup with tiny plastic spoon are in the past to stay. Marc Bona, cleveland, 26 Apr. 2020 Some smelled it, licked it, or took tiny nibbles around the edges. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 21 Jan. 2020 From the welcoming glass of Krug champagne to the final nibble of Indian sweets from Masala Munchies, guests were treated to a three-course dinner that showcased Houston's cultural diversity. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, 5 Oct. 2019 Frilly tea, please Just about now, who doesn’t want to go escape somewhere with friends, yummy nibbles and butterflies on your plate? Neiman Marcus is bringing high tea to its Zodiac Room in its Downtown Dallas store. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, 5 Mar. 2020 Just remember that any plant can cause stomach upset and vomiting if your pet nibbles on it, so keep an eye on your pets with all your indoor plants and indoor trees. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 24 Jan. 2020

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


circa 1525, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nibble


origin unknown

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Time Traveler for nibble

Time Traveler

The first known use of nibble was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near nibble



nibble (away) at

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Statistics for nibble

Last Updated

7 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nibble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for nibble



English Language Learners Definition of nibble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to eat slowly or with small bites
: to bite (something) very gently



English Language Learners Definition of nibble (Entry 2 of 2)

: a small bite
: an expression of interest in something
: small things to eat before a meal or at a party : snacks or appetizers


nib·​ble | \ ˈni-bəl How to pronounce nibble (audio) \
nibbled; nibbling

Kids Definition of nibble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to bite or chew gently or bit by bit



Kids Definition of nibble (Entry 2 of 2)

: a very small amount

More from Merriam-Webster on nibble

Nglish: Translation of nibble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nibble for Arabic Speakers


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