[ nig-uh l ]
/ ˈnɪg əl /
verb (used without object), nig·gled, nig·gling.
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
1610–20; < Scandinavian; compare Norwegian nigla to be penurious (ultimately < Old Norse hnøggr stingy, cognate with Old English hnēaw); cf. niggard
Related formsnig·gler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for niggle
The fact is, Mr. Niggle, we dont wish to wound your feelings.
Niggle, eat in peace and thankfulness; for I have once more saved you from the abyss of matrimony.
Mr. Niggle, the gentleman with whom you saw me yesterday, is my friend.
British Dictionary definitions for niggle
/ (ˈnɪɡəl) /
(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
Derived Formsniggler, nounniggly, adjective
Word Origin for niggle
C16: from Scandinavian; related to Norwegian nigla. Compare niggard
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