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See also: Nibble


Etymology 1[edit]

Perhaps from Middle Low German nibbelen (to gnaw), akin to modern Low German nibbeln (to gnaw) and Dutch nibbelen (to nibble), equivalent to nip +‎ -le (frequentative suffix). Compare Saterland Frisian nibje (to nibble).



nibble (plural nibbles)

  1. A small, quick bite taken with the front teeth.
  2. (in the plural, nibbles) Small snacks such as crisps/potato chips or nuts, often eaten to accompany drinks.
Derived terms[edit]


nibble (third-person singular simple present nibbles, present participle nibbling, simple past and past participle nibbled)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To eat with small, quick bites.
    The rabbit nibbled the lettuce.
    The rabbit nibbled at the lettuce.
    • 2 November 2014, Alex James in The Guardian, The day I came face-to-face with a tiger
      Giant parrots nibbled seed from the children's fingertips and my sister peeled a couple of satsumas for the lemurs.
    • 1911, Rudyard Kipling, Big Steamers
      "For the bread that you eat and the biscuits you nibble,
      The sweets that you suck and the joints that you carve,
      They are brought to you daily by all us Big Steamers--
      And if anyone hinders our coming you'll starve!"
  2. (transitive) To bite lightly.
    He nibbled at my neck and made me shiver.
  3. (figuratively) To consume gradually.
  4. To find fault; to cavil.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:

From nibble, punning on the homophony of byte and bite

Alternative forms[edit]


nibble (plural nibbles)

  1. (computing) A unit of memory equal to half a byte, or four bits.[1]
    • 1993, Richard E. Haskell, Introduction to computer engineering (page 287)
      That is, the lower nibble (the 4 bits 1010 = A) has been masked to zero.




nibble m (plural nibbles)

  1. (computing) nibble (half a byte)