nim·​ble | \ ˈnim-bəl How to pronounce nimble (audio) \
nimbler\ ˈnim-​b(ə-​)lər How to pronounce nimble (audio) \; nimblest\ ˈnim-​b(ə-​)ləst How to pronounce nimble (audio) \

Definition of nimble

1 : quick and light in motion : agile nimble fingers a nimble climber
2a : marked by quick, alert, clever conception (see conception sense 3), comprehension (see comprehension sense 1a), or resourcefulness a nimble mind nimble investors
b : responsive, sensitive a nimble listener nothing like playacting to make you nimble in your feelings— Mary Austin

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Other Words from nimble

nimbleness \ ˈnim-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce nimble (audio) \ noun
nimbly \ ˈnim-​blē How to pronounce nimble (audio) \ adverb

Examples of nimble in a Sentence

possessing a nimble wit, he always has a cutting comeback for any intended insult thrown his way her nimble fingers make knitting look so easy
Recent Examples on the Web Gan, 49, is looking for younger brands that are nimble in their approach to marketing in today’s changing environment. Russell Flannery, Forbes, 10 Oct. 2021 The Bronco Riptide is based on a 2021 four-door Bronco with the Sasquatch package, which brings all of the off-road goodies—like 35-inch tires and Bilstein shock absorbers—and should make the Riptide especially nimble over beach dunes. Caleb Miller, Car and Driver, 17 Aug. 2021 He has been seen as an agent of change and someone who knows how to make a traditional business more nimble through technology. Alex Veiga, ajc, 23 Mar. 2021 Many lenders now are offering services online, which can make the process more nimble. Anna Bahney, CNN, 7 Oct. 2020 Fire spotting now is high tech, with a growing body of wildfire data feeding exponentially better and faster tech that makes firefighters more nimble. Chronicle Staff,, 3 Sep. 2020 Her business acumen and ability to be nimble set her up for success. Lydia T. Blanco, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 Smaller farms, such as those specializing in organic or heirloom produce, could be nimble. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, 15 Sep. 2021 Massaquoi said her small business size afforded her the fortunate opportunity to be nimble, and shift her offerings to fit the state of the world. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 14 Sep. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nimble

Middle English nimel, from Old English numol holding much, from niman to take; akin to Old High German neman to take, Greek nemein to distribute, manage, nomos pasture, nomos usage, custom, law

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Time Traveler for nimble

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The first known use of nimble was in the 14th century

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nimble Kate

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nimble.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of nimble

: able to move quickly, easily, and lightly
: able to learn and understand things quickly and easily


nim·​ble | \ ˈnim-bəl How to pronounce nimble (audio) \
nimbler; nimblest

Kids Definition of nimble

1 : quick and light in motion : agile a nimble dancer
2 : quick in understanding and learning : clever a nimble mind

Other Words from nimble

nimbleness noun
nimbly \ -​blē \ adverb Then the vendors had to dodge nimbly to avoid being trampled under the heavy hooves … — Laurence Yep, Dragonwings

More from Merriam-Webster on nimble

Nglish: Translation of nimble for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nimble for Arabic Speakers


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