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nimble

[nim-buh l] /ˈnɪm bəl/
adjective, nimbler, nimblest.
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
late Middle English
1000
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 forms
nimbleness, noun
nimbly, adverb
unnimble, adjective
unnimbleness, noun
unnimbly, adverb
Synonyms
1. lively, brisk, swift. 2. alert.
Antonyms
1. clumsy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for nimble
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When had nimble Dick lost an opportunity for fun at the expense of another?

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • She longed to give it to nimble Dick; he had saved her from so much this morning.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • This from the leader, who in time came to be known as "nimble Dick."

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • 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

/ˈnɪmbəl/
adjective
1.
agile, quick, and neat in movement: nimble fingers
2.
alert; acute: a nimble intellect
Derived Forms
nimbleness, noun
nimbly, 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
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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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10
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