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verb (used with object), nudged, nudg·ing.
  1. to push slightly or gently, especially with the elbow, to get someone's attention, prod someone into action, etc.
verb (used without object), nudged, nudg·ing.
  1. to give a nudge.
  1. a slight or gentle push or jog, especially with the elbow.

Origin of nudge1

1665–75; variant of dial. (k)nidge, akin to Old English cnucian, cnocian to knock
Related formsnudg·er, noun


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1. elbow, poke, jog.


or noodge, nudzh

[noo j]
verb (used with object), nudged, nudg·ing.
  1. to annoy with persistent complaints, criticisms, or pleas; nag: He was always nudging his son to move to a better neighborhood.
verb (used without object), nudged, nudg·ing.
  1. to nag, whine, or carp.
  1. a person who nudges; pest.

Origin of nudge2

1875–80; < Yiddish, stem of nudyen to bore < Polish nudzić; cf. nudnik
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nudged

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The captain of dragoons, who was sitting beside him, nudged him with his elbow.

    A Hero of Our Time

    M. Y. Lermontov

  • Then as soon as they were helped they nudged one another and spoke with their mouths full.


    Emile Zola

  • The slaves sat round an overseer who shook the dozing and nudged the slow.

    The Age of Invention

    Holland Thompson

  • Occasionally she nudged her companions, and asked them what had become of Walter Scott.

  • She nudged her companion and drew his attention without speaking.

British Dictionary definitions for nudged


verb (tr)
  1. to push or poke (someone) gently, esp with the elbow, to get attention; jog
  2. to push slowly or lightlyas I drove out, I just nudged the gatepost
  3. to give (someone) a gentle reminder or encouragement
  1. a gentle poke or push
  2. a gentle reminder
Derived Formsnudger, noun

Word Origin

C17: perhaps from Scandinavian; compare Icelandic nugga to push
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 nudged



"a slight push," 1836, from nudge (v.).



"to push slightly with the elbow," 1670s, perhaps from Scandinavian (cf. Norwegian nugge, nyggje "to jostle, rub;" Icelandic nugga "to rub, massage"). Related: Nudged; nudging.



"complainer, nagger," 1960s, from Yiddish, from Slavic words meaning "fret, ache," realted to the root of nudnik (q.v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper