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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 nimbleness

Historical Examples

  • Well, you shall acquire your nimbleness and strength by playing what is worth playing.

    Michael

    E. F. Benson

  • And I rubbed my hands, instantly pleased with myself and my nimbleness.

    The God of Love

    Justin Huntly McCarthy

  • It climbs trees and explores them with great ease and nimbleness.

  • I took to my heels; but this was the vainest of stratagems, they beat me in nimbleness.

  • By-and-by, according to their nimbleness, they are elevated to "layers-on."


British Dictionary definitions for nimbleness

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 nimbleness

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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