[ nig-uhl ]
/ ˈnɪg əl /
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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.
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Origin of niggle
1610–20; <Scandinavian; compare Norwegian nigla to be penurious (ultimately <Old Norse hnøggr stingy, cognate with Old English hnēaw); cf. niggard
OTHER WORDS FROM niggleniggler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
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 forms of niggleniggler, 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