Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To bite at gently and repeatedly.
  • intransitive verb To eat with small, quick bites or in small morsels.
  • intransitive verb To wear away or diminish bit by bit.
  • intransitive verb To take small or hesitant bites.
  • noun A very small quantity, especially of food; a morsel.
  • noun The act or an instance of nibbling.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To eat by biting or gnawing off small bits; gnaw.
  • To bite very slightly or gently; bite off small pieces of.
  • To catch; nab.
  • To bite gently; bite off small pieces: as, fishes nibble at the bait.
  • Figuratively, to carp; make a petty attack: with at.
  • To fidget the fingers about.
  • noun The act of nibbling; a little bite; also, a small morsel or bit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To bite by little at a time; to seize gently with the mouth; to eat slowly or in small bits.
  • transitive verb To bite upon something gently or cautiously; to eat a little of a thing, as by taking small bits cautiously.
  • noun A small or cautious bite.
  • noun An expression of interest, often tentative, as at the beginning of a sale or negotiation process.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small, quick bite taken with the front teeth.
  • noun in the plural, nibbles Small snacks such as crisps/potato chips or nuts, often eaten to accompany drinks.
  • verb transitive To eat with small, quick bites.
  • verb transitive To bite lightly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb bite off very small pieces
  • noun a small byte
  • verb bite gently
  • verb eat intermittently; take small bites of
  • noun gentle biting

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English nebyllen; akin to Low German nibbelen.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Perhaps from Middle Low German nibbelen ("to gnaw").

Examples

  • Of course, despite that he is after all * nibble nibble* a member of SG5, which means that we * ssslurp* try to include him in some of our class activities.

    jaimewolf Diary Entry

  • No single nibble is that dramatic or burdensome, but over the decades they threaten to convert any stable democracy into a big, inefficient, favor-ridden state.

    How America Can Rise Again

  • No single nibble is that dramatic or burdensome, but over the decades they threaten to convert any stable democracy into a big, inefficient, favor-ridden state.

    How America Can Rise Again

  • This morning, for example, it was a quick flit through the studios of SKY News and a quick nibble from the toothless gums of our Eamonn.

    Brown's Whirling Dervishes

  • This morning, for example, it was a quick flit through the studios of SKY News and a quick nibble from the toothless gums of our Eamonn.

    Archive 2008-01-06

  • Not a nibble from the Administration, which instead chose to embarrass the residents with the misbegotten site for going on eight months.

    Plainfield.com version 3.0 coming

  • Not a nibble from the Administration, which instead chose to embarrass the residents with the misbegotten site for going on eight months.

    Archive 2007-06-01

  • That's just a nibble from a post full of meat (the historical context alone is well worth your mouse click.)

    On the Don't Panic beat...

  • That's just a nibble from a post full of meat (the historical context alone is well worth your mouse click.)

    Archive 2004-09-01

  • That's just a nibble from a post full of meat (the historical context alone is well worth your mouse click.)

    We interrupt your regularly scheduled panic attack

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • 4 bits (half a byte)

    July 28, 2008

  • See also mibble.

    October 11, 2008

  • also written as nybble

    November 20, 2008