- to criticize, especially constantly or repeatedly, in a peevish or petty way; carp: to niggle about the fine points of interpretation; preferring to niggle rather than take steps to correct a situation.
- to spend too much time and effort on inconsequential details: It's difficult to be meticulous and not niggle.
- to work ineffectively; trifle: to niggle with an uninteresting task.
Origin of niggle
Examples from the Web for niggle
Historical Examples of niggle
The fact is, Mr. Niggle, we dont wish to wound your feelings.
Mr. Niggle, the gentleman with whom you saw me yesterday, is my friend.
Niggle, eat in peace and thankfulness; for I have once more saved you from the abyss of matrimony.
- (intr) to find fault continually
- (intr) to be preoccupied with details; fuss
- (tr) to irritate; worry
- a slight or trivial objection or complaint
- a slight feeling as of misgiving, uncertainty, etc
Word Origin for niggle
1590s (implied in niggling), possibly from a Scandinavian source (cf. Norwegian dialectal nigla "be busy with trifles"), perhaps related to source of niggard. Related: Niggled; niggling; niggler.