follow Dictionary.com

What's the difference between i.e. and e.g.?

nibble

[nib-uh l] /ˈnɪb əl/
verb (used without object), nibbled, nibbling.
1.
to bite off small bits.
2.
to eat or chew in small bites:
Give him a graham cracker to nibble on.
3.
to bite, eat, or chew gently and in small amounts (usually followed by at):
She was so upset she could only nibble at her food.
verb (used with object), nibbled, nibbling.
4.
to bite off small bits of (something).
5.
to eat (food) by biting off small pieces.
6.
to bite in small bits:
He nibbled each morsel with great deliberation.
noun
7.
a small morsel or bit:
Each nibble was eaten with the air of an epicure.
8.
an act or instance of nibbling.
9.
a response by a fish to bait on a fishing line.
10.
any preliminary positive response or reaction.
Idioms
11.
nibble away at, to cause to decrease or diminish bit by bit:
Inflation was nibbling away at her savings. The rains nibbled at the loam.
Also, nibble at.
Origin
late Middle English
1425-1475
1425-75; late Middle English nebillen to peck away at, nibble, try, perhaps < Middle Low German nibbelen to pick with the beak; cf. nib, -le
Related forms
unnibbled, adjective
Synonyms
7. tidbit, bite, taste, crumb.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for nibble at

nibble

/ˈnɪbəl/
verb when intr, often foll by at
1.
(esp of animals, such as mice) to take small repeated bites (of)
2.
to take dainty or tentative bites: to nibble at a cake
3.
to bite (at) gently or caressingly
4.
(intransitive) to make petty criticisms
5.
(intransitive) to consider tentatively or cautiously: to nibble at an idea
noun
6.
a small mouthful
7.
an instance or the act of nibbling
8.
(pl) (informal) small items of food, esp savouries, usually served with drinks
Word Origin
C15: related to Low German nibbelen. Compare nib, neb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for nibble at

nibble

v.

"to bite gently," c.1500, perhaps from Low German nibbeln "to nibble, gnaw," related to Middle Low German nibbelen, Middle Dutch knibbelen "to gnaw," source of Dutch knibbelen "to cavail, squabble." Related: Nibbled; nibbling.

n.

1650s, "act of nibbling," from nibble (v.). As "a small bite," from 1838.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for nibble

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for nibble

10
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for nibble at