niggling

[ nig-ling ]
/ ˈnɪg lɪŋ /

adjective

petty; trivial; inconsequential: to quibble about a niggling difference in terminology.
demanding too much care, attention, time, etc.: niggling chores about the house.

QUIZZES

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We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Origin of niggling

First recorded in 1590–1600; niggle + -ing2

OTHER WORDS FROM niggling

nig·gling·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for niggling

  • Niggling, trifling, or idling; taking short steps in walking.

    The Slang Dictionary|John Camden Hotten

British Dictionary definitions for niggling

niggling
/ (ˈnɪɡlɪŋ) /

adjective

petty
fussy
irritating
requiring painstaking work
persistently troublinga niggling back pain

noun

an act or instance of niggling

Derived forms of niggling

nigglingly, adverb
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