Definition of nudge in English:

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Pronunciation: /nʌdʒ/


[with object]
1Prod (someone) gently with one’s elbow in order to attract attention: people were nudging each other and pointing at me
More example sentences
  • I gently nudged him with my elbow until he moaned and opened his right eye.
  • He nudged her with his elbow, reminding her gently, ‘Some girls go for older guys.’
  • She nudges him with her elbow, managing to look - as teenage girls do - simultaneously superior and deprived.
1.1Touch or push (something) gently or gradually: the canoe nudged a bank of reeds
More example sentences
  • The Chinese Central Bank nudged its currency higher against the dollar last week by 2 percent.
  • I find a large spoon helps here, and then you can gently nudge the latke off the spoon into the oil.
  • So I nudged the carton a little bit to push it away from the door and then I heard something splat.
1.2Coax or gently encourage (someone) to do something: we have to nudge the politicians in the right direction
More example sentences
  • I think physicians are being nudged back in that direction, and I am very encouraged by that.
  • Laurie took a deep breath and then nudged her horse into a canter.
  • "This one'll do, " Avery whispered, nudging the horse forward.
prompt, encourage, coax, stimulate, prod, jog
1.3Approach (an age, figure, or level) very closely: both men were nudging fifty
More example sentences
  • Those with long memories may recall that the share price was nudging the 100p level some 15 years ago.
  • That level of indebtedness is nudging towards 65 percent of our gross domestic product.
  • Further violence threatens to push the oil price - which is nudging towards record levels owing to unrest in the Middle East - even higher.
approach, come/get close to, be verging on, border on, near


A light touch or push: he gave her shoulder a nudge figurative she appreciated the nudge to her memory
More example sentences
  • Maybe the nudge wasn't as light as it was described.
  • She then received a light nudge on her arm and she faced Jill again, ‘So do you go to the same school as Theodore?’
  • When her foot collided with something hard, she gave it a light nudge, and then quickly flicked her eyes up to Josh to see if he'd noticed anything.
poke, dig in the ribs, dig, prod, jog, jab, butt, push


nudge nudge (wink wink)

Used to draw attention to a sexual innuendo in the previous statement: haven’t seen much of the beach—we’ve been catching up on our sleep (nudge nudge)
A catchphrase from Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British television comedy programme
More example sentences
  • It may sound like one of those late night SBS Swedish movies, nudge nudge wink wink, but alas, of all the films bearing this name, this is the bottom of the barrel.
  • So I'm pretty sure he will jump - nudge nudge wink wink, get it?
  • Oh yes and what else did she do in his office nudge nudge?



Example sentences
  • Collingwood is the appointed nudger and nurdler, the buffer between the big strikers, but his batting at present is ordinary.
  • He is not a shuffler and nudger of the ball like many stumpers, but a classical batsman.
  • There was a golden age of British comedy in the blissful innocence of those Ealing summers before pipe smoking opinion nudgers decided that what had been made at the studio should be preserved forever in formaldehyde.


Late 17th century (as a verb): of unknown origin; compare with Norwegian dialect nugga, nyggja 'to push, rub'.

Words that rhyme with nudge

adjudge, begrudge, bludge, budge, drudge, fudge, grudge, judge, misjudge, pudge, sludge, smudge, trudge

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: nudge

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