verb (nips, nipping, nipped)
- 1 [with object] Bite or pinch sharply: one of the dogs nipped him on the leg [no object]: his teeth nipped at her earMore example sentences
- They chase off clownfish that don't fit into the hierarchy and many scuba divers tell anecdotes of being nipped at if they venture too close.
- The dogs nipped at her heels, the silver dusk rose up as her feet sped on.
- My dog recently bit / nipped me, should I be worried about rabies?
- 1.1(Of the cold or frost) damage or hurt: the vegetable garden, nipped now by frostMore example sentences
- But they did and because the weather has been mild, Jane hasn't had to worry about new leaves being nipped by late frosts.
- It was so cold that the frost nipped at your nose while wrapped in a scarf.
- What has happened to Sheila's tree every year is that it has been nipped by a late frost.
- 1.2 (nip something off) Remove something by pinching or squeezing sharply: he nipped off a length of wire with the cuttersMore example sentences
- Tree seedlings, wildflowers, and shrubs were nipped off as soon as they germinated.
- The one thing to remember is not to eat the head, so the grub is held by that end and the remainder is nipped off.
- We have infestations at different times of things like Spider Crabs and Spider Crabs are very fond of nipping the ends off the arms and sucking the gonads out from inside.
- 2 [no object, with adverbial of direction] British • informal Go quickly: I’m just nipping down to the Post OfficeMore example sentences
- You might then want to nip quickly outside to see how the people of Leystonstone see the mosaics from various entrances.
- I quickly nip back in my room to put on my sneakers when the Scottish roommate informs me that the girlfriend has locked herself in his room.
- Bo managed to get past the bar without succumbing to nipping quickly through it's heavy wood doors.
- 3 [with object] US • informal Steal or snatch (something).More example sentences
- Ever nipped a spoon or a napkin from a restaurant?
nounBack to top
- 1A sharp bite or pinch: a strong beak which can deliver a serious nipMore example sentences
- His fair hand made a gesture to touch the dog's face but was rewarded by a painful nip from her sharp fangs.
- She sighed and looked on dreamily, before receiving a sharp nip on the ear.
- Herding the neighborhood kids and giving an occasional light nip to a rear end or ankle might seem like a funny game in the beginning.
- 1.1A feeling of biting cold: a keen nip in the airMore example sentences
- See how I have swapped from cold white wine to red now that there is a nip in the air.
- Sometimes fall is just glimpsed from behind a car window; it's cold and wet, and while the colors are nice the nip in the air feels like a chain around your neck yanking you towards winter.
- Fall arrived almost exactly on cue last week, the temperature suddenly cooling so that New Yorkers awoke the morning after Labour Day to a slight nip in the air, and a distinct sense of seasonal change.
in the nip
- Irish • informal In the nude; naked: they were running round in the nipMore example sentences
- It climaxed with two guys standing gyrating on the stage in the nip.
- The Killorglin-based Gulliver company was contacted by potential holidaymakers who are interested in discarding their clothes and taking a dip in the nip in places like Rossbeigh, Inch or Ballybunion.
- Hayley admits to Kim that she is attracted to him - catching him in the nip at the Beach House sorted that out - but she's not sure if she's ready to make that step.
nip something in the bud
- Suppress or destroy something at an early stage: the idea has been nipped in the bud by the local councilMore example sentences
- Fear of revealing ideas early was also cited as a cause of delay, as the potential users do not get a chance to nip bad ideas in the bud early in the design phase.
- It's about identifying problems early and nipping them in the bud.
- I want to nip it in the bud at an early age and make them realise what pain it causes not just the victims but their families as well.
late Middle English: probably of Low German or Dutch origin.
- A small quantity or sip of spirits: a nip of brandyMore example sentences
- The first few nights Mom slipped me half a Vicodin and a nip of Benedictine brandy.
- But even with the comfort of a fully underwritten share offer, Allan would be forgiven for reaching for a nip of Armenian brandy himself in the next few days.
- For a squeamish diary writer it was enough to send me to the editor's well-stocked drinks cabinet for a nip of his favourite barley wine.
verb (nips, nipping, nipped)[no object] Back to top
- Take a sip or sips of spirits: the men nipped from the bottleMore example sentences
- He had obviously been on the plane from a previous leg, nipping at those little bottles of Jack Daniel's.
late 18th century (originally denoting a half-pint of ale): probably an abbreviation of the rare term nipperkin 'small measure'; compare with Low German and Dutch nippen 'to sip'.