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[nip-ee] /ˈnɪp i/
adjective, nippier, nippiest.
chilly or cold:
morning air that feels a bit nippy.
sharp or biting; tangy:
This cheese has a good, nippy taste.
Chiefly British Informal. nimble; agile.
Origin of nippy
1565-75; nip1 + -y1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nippy
  • They are clean, quiet and provide nippy performance.
  • He was almost unfailingly alert and playfully nippy, still magnificent, if thinner than before the accident.
  • If the weather's a bit nippy, select a book from the library and curl up by the fireplace in the living room.
  • During the winter months, when northern cold fronts extend their grip south, it can get downright nippy.
  • In some old-fashioned places, on a nippy night you'll find a crackling fire in a flower-bordered ceramic stove.
  • There was a little bit of snow on the ground and it was a little nippy.
British Dictionary definitions for nippy


adjective -pier, -piest
(of weather) chilly, keen, or frosty
(Brit, informal)
  1. quick; nimble; active
  2. (of a motor vehicle) small and relatively powerful
(of the taste of food) biting, sharp, or pungent
(of a dog) inclined to bite
Derived Forms
nippily, adverb
nippiness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for nippy

1898, in reference to a "biting" chill in the air, from nip (n.2) + -y (2). Related: Nippiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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