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See more synonyms for nifty on Thesaurus.com
adjective, nif·ti·er, nif·ti·est.
  1. attractively stylish or smart: a nifty new dress for Easter.
  2. very good; fine; excellent: a nifty idea.
  3. substantial; sizable: We sold the car for a nifty profit.
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noun, plural nif·ties.
  1. something nifty, as a clever remark or joke.
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Origin of nifty

An Americanism dating back to 1860–65; of obscure origin
Related formsnif·ti·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for nifty

terrific, dandy, excellent, neat, stylish, chic, clever, cool, enjoyable, groovy, keen, peachy, pleasing, quick, sharp, smart, spruce, super, swell

Examples from the Web for nifty

Contemporary Examples of nifty

Historical Examples of nifty

  • Gad, that rose in your hair—trust a girl to know what's nifty!

    The Barrier

    Allen French

  • In a moment I had it girdled, and snapped the nifty sort of buckle they had made for me.

  • She carries that sort of thing well—she's so clean and nifty in line.

    Money Magic

    Hamlin Garland

  • I suppose a mountain climber would have called it a nifty job.


    Charles Emmett Van Loan

  • It's part of my job to be a nifty young suspector—and to use what I guess at.

    The Rules of the Game

    Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for nifty


adjective -tier or -tiest informal
  1. pleasing, apt, or stylish
  2. quick, agilehe's nifty on his feet
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Derived Formsniftily, adverbniftiness, noun

Word Origin for nifty

C19: of uncertain origin
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 nifty


"smart, stylish," 1868, of unknown origin, perhaps theatrical slang, first attested in a poem by Bret Harte, who said it was a shortened, altered form of magnificat. Related: Niftily; niftiness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper