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nimble

[nim-buh l]
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adjective, nim·bler, nim·blest.
  1. quick and light in movement; moving with ease; agile; active; rapid: nimble feet.
  2. quick to understand, think, devise, etc.: a nimble mind.
  3. cleverly contrived: a story with a nimble plot.

Origin of nimble

before 1000; late Middle English nymel, earlier nemel, Old English nǣmel capable, equivalent to nǣm- (variant stem of niman to take; see nim1) + -el -le
Related formsnim·ble·ness, nounnim·bly, adverbun·nim·ble, adjectiveun·nim·ble·ness, nounun·nim·b·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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1. lively, brisk, swift. 2. alert.

Antonyms

1. clumsy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nimble

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • When had Nimble Dick lost an opportunity for fun at the expense of another?

  • She longed to give it to Nimble Dick; he had saved her from so much this morning.

  • This from the leader, who in time came to be known as "Nimble Dick."

  • Her face was so distressed that Linda's nimble brain flew to a conclusion.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • He was at that time slender, nimble, and full of youthful ardour.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt


British Dictionary definitions for nimble

nimble

adjective
  1. agile, quick, and neat in movementnimble fingers
  2. alert; acutea nimble intellect
Derived Formsnimbleness, nounnimbly, adverb

Word Origin

Old English nǣmel quick to grasp, and numol quick at seizing, both from niman to take
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

Word Origin and History for nimble

adj.

"agile, light-footed," c.1300, nemel, from Old English næmel "quick to grasp" (attested but once), related to niman "to take," from Proto-Germanic *nemanan (cf. Old Saxon, Old Dutch, Gothic niman, Old Norse nema, Old Frisian nima, German nehmen "to take"), from PIE root *nem- "to divide, distribute, allot," also "to take" (cf. Greek nemein "to deal out," nemesis "just indignation," Latin numerus "number," Lithuanian nuoma "rent, interest," Middle Irish nos "custom, usage"). With excrescent -b- from c.1500 (cf. limb (n.1)). Related: Nimbleness. In 17c., English had nimblechaps "talkative fellow."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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