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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English wimble, wimbel. Compare Middle Dutch wimmel, Middle Low German wimel, wemel.


wimble (plural wimbles)

  1. Any of various hand tools for boring holes.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English wimblen, from the noun (above). Compare Middle Low German wemelen.


wimble (third-person singular simple present wimbles, present participle wimbling, simple past and past participle wimbled)

  1. (transitive) To truss hay with a wimble.
    • 1874, Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd, Chapter 10,[1]
      “What have you been doing?”
      “Tending thrashing-machine and wimbling haybonds, and saying ‘Hoosh!’ to the cocks and hens when they go upon your seeds, and planting Early Flourballs and Thompson’s Wonderfuls with a dibble.”
  2. To bore or pierce, as with a wimble.
    • 1692, Anthony Wood, Athenae Oxonienses, London: Lackington et al., 1820, Volume 4, p. 39,[2]
      [] a foot soldier had hid himself [] and being greedy of prey, crept into the vault, and cut so much of the velvet pall that covered the great body, as he judged would hardly be missed, and wimbled also a hole thro’ the said coffin that was largest []
    • 2001, Richard Flanagan, Gould’s Book of Fish, New York: Grove, “The Freshwater Crayfish,” IV, p. 343,[3]
      My body heavier & heavier, my head a stone, & within an insistent voice wimbling away []

See also[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Related to whim.


wimble (comparative more wimble, superlative most wimble)

  1. (obsolete) active; nimble
    • 1579, Edmund Spenser, The Shepheardes Calender, London: Hugh Singleton, “March, Aegloga Tertia,” p. 9b,[4]
      He was so wimble, and so wight,
      From bough to bough he lepped light,
    • 1579, Edward Hake, Newes out of Powles Churchyarde, London: John Charlewood and Richard Jhones, “The first Satyr,”[5]
      And casting backe mine eye, I spyde
      a pretie wymble lad,
      Who saluing of his mate, dyd aske
      what newes were to be had.
    • 1602, John Marston, Antonio and Mellida, London: Mathewe Lownes and Thomas Fisher, Act III,[6]
      Be not affright, sweete Prince; appease thy feare,
      Buckle thy spirits up, put all thy wits
      In wimble action, or thou art surpriz’d.
    • 1614, John Davies, The Shepheards Pipe, London: George Norton, “An Eclogue between yong Willy the singer of his natiue Pastorals, and old WERNOCKE his friend,”[7]
      Then nought can be atchieu’d with witty shewes,
      Sith griefe of Elde accloyen wimble wit;
    • 1755, Moses Mendez, “The Squire of Dames” Canto 1, Stanza 27, in Robert Dodsley (editor), A Collection of Poems in Four Volumes, London: R. & J. Dodsley, Volume 4, p. 135,[8]
      Man throws the wimble bait, and greedy woman bites.