[ nif-tee ]
/ ˈnɪf ti /

adjective, nif·ti·er, nif·ti·est.

attractively stylish or smart: a nifty new dress for Easter.
very good; fine; excellent: a nifty idea.
substantial; sizable: We sold the car for a nifty profit.

noun, plural nif·ties.

something nifty, as a clever remark or joke.

Nearby words

  1. nieve,
  2. nife,
  3. nifedipine,
  4. niff,
  5. niflheim,
  6. nig,
  7. nig-nog,
  8. nigel,
  9. nigella,
  10. niger

Origin of nifty

An Americanism dating back to 1860–65; of obscure origin

Related formsnif·ti·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nifty

British Dictionary definitions for nifty


/ (ˈnɪftɪ) /

adjective -tier or -tiest informal

pleasing, apt, or stylish
quick, agilehe's nifty on his feet
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper