- quick and light in movement; moving with ease; agile; active; rapid: nimble feet.
- quick to understand, think, devise, etc.: a nimble mind.
- cleverly contrived: a story with a nimble plot.
Origin of nimble
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for nimbly
The devil was large and clumsy, but Sun Wu Kung leaped about nimbly.The Chinese Fairy Book
Wilson made his feet and the other followed as nimbly as a cat.The Web of the Golden Spider
Frederick Orin Bartlett
Dexter rose, and Dick got to his feet as nimbly as he could.The Grammar School Boys of Gridley
H. Irving Hancock
A rope was thrown him, by the aid of which he nimbly clambered aboard.The Naval History of the United States
Willis J. Abbot.
And all the idlers were laughing because it was done so nimbly.The Young Mountaineers
Charles Egbert Craddock
- agile, quick, and neat in movementnimble fingers
- alert; acutea nimble intellect
Word Origin and History for nimbly
"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."