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nippy

[nip-ee]
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adjective, nip·pi·er, nip·pi·est.
  1. chilly or cold: morning air that feels a bit nippy.
  2. sharp or biting; tangy: This cheese has a good, nippy taste.
  3. Chiefly British Informal. nimble; agile.

Origin of nippy

First recorded in 1565–75; nip1 + -y1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nippy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The wind was in their faces, such wind as there was, and the air was keen and nippy.

  • Would have liked to have warned you the other night, but Bacon was too nippy.

    To Love

    Margaret Peterson

  • Right in front of him was Nippy, worrying the wriggling tail with her sharp teeth like a little terrier.

    Wild Folk</p>

    Samuel Scoville

  • They carry the mail over vast, snowy wildernesses, and even sometimes to Dawson, when the air is not too nippy.

  • Efter a while I felt a bit sleepy; 'twere t' nippy air, an' mebbe t' seet o' t' fallin' watter dazed my een.


British Dictionary definitions for nippy

nippy

adjective -pier or -piest
  1. (of weather) chilly, keen, or frosty
  2. British informal
    1. quick; nimble; active
    2. (of a motor vehicle) small and relatively powerful
  3. (of the taste of food) biting, sharp, or pungent
  4. (of a dog) inclined to bite
Derived Formsnippily, adverbnippiness, 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

Word Origin and History for nippy

adj.

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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