[ ni-geer-ee ]
/ nɪˈgɪər i /
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noun Japanese Cooking.
cold boiled rice moistened with rice vinegar, shaped into bite-size pieces and topped with raw seafood.


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Sometimes ni·gi·ri-zu·shi [ni-geer-ee-zoo-shee]. /nɪˈgɪər iˈzu ʃi/.
See also sushi.

Origin of nigiri

First recorded in 1945–50; from Japanese nigiri-zushi, literally, “hand-pressed sushi, rolled sushi,” from nigiri “a gripping or grasping, handmade rice ball,” from nigiru “to grip, grasp, roll a lump of rice in the hand” + -zushi, combining form of sushi
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use nigiri in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for nigiri

/ (niːˈɡiːriː) /

(in Japanese cuisine) a small oval block of cold rice topped with wasabi and a thin slice of fish, prawn, etc, and sometimes held together by a thin band of seaweed

Word Origin for nigiri

from Japanese, literally: grasp, as the rice is shaped by hand
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