- a person or thing that nips.
- Usually nippers. a device for nipping, as pincers or forceps.
- one of the two large claws of a crustacean.
- Metalworking. dog(def 13).
- nippers, Older Slang. handcuffs.
- a small boy.
- Chiefly British.a costermonger's helper or assistant.
- Nautical. a short rope for seizing an anchor cable to a messenger from a capstan.
Origin of nipper
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for nippers
Bluenoses have no use for nippers, as Britishers call apprentices.All Afloat
The surging or slipping of the cable when the nippers do not hold.
Also, the cable is brought-to when fastened to the messenger by nippers.
To clap on nippers closely, just at starting the anchor from the ground.
A policeman came in from the street and put the nippers on him.Halsey & Co.
H. K. Shackleford
- an instrument or tool, such as a pair of pliers, for snipping, pinching, or squeezing
- a person or thing that nips
- the large pincer-like claw of a lobster, crab, or similar crustacean
- informal a small child
- Australian a type of small prawn used as bait
Word Origin and History for nippers
"small boy," 1859, originally (1530s) a pickpocket who "pinched" other people's property; see nip (v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper