What does nibble mean?

Definitions for nibble
ˈnɪb əlnib·ble

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word nibble.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. nybble, nibblenoun

    a small byte

  2. nibbleverb

    gentle biting

  3. nibbleverb

    bite off very small pieces

    "She nibbled on her cracker"

  4. nibbleverb

    bite gently

    "The woman tenderly nibbled at her baby's ear"

  5. nibble, pick, pieceverb

    eat intermittently; take small bites of

    "He pieced at the sandwich all morning"; "She never eats a full meal--she just nibbles"


  1. nibblenoun

    Hence: (Fig.) An expression of interest, often tentative, as at the beginning of a sale or negotiation process.


  1. nibblenoun

    A unit of memory equal to half a byte, or four bits.

  2. Etymology: Perhaps from nibbeln.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Nibbleverb

    Etymology: from nib, the beak or mouth.

    Thy turfy mountains, where live nibbling sheep,
    And flat meads thatch’d with stover them to keep. Sha.

    It is the rose that bleeds, when he
    Nibbles his nice phlebotomy. John Cleveland, Poems.

    Had not he better have born wats nibbling of his plants and roots now, than the huntsman’s eating of him out of house and home. Roger L'Estrange, Fable 387.

    Many there are who nibble without leave;
    But none, who are not born to taste, survive. George Granville.

    The roving trout
    Greedily sucks in the twining bait,
    And tugs and nibbles at the fallacious meat. John Gay.

  2. To Nibbleverb

    As pidgeons bill, so wedlock would be nibbling. William Shakespeare.

    They gape at rich revenues which you hold,
    And fain would nibble at your grandame gold. Dryden.

    But if you would be nibbling, here is a hand to stay your stomach. John Dryden, Don Sebastian.

    Plunging himself in mud, and then lifting up his head a little, he casts out the said string; which the little fishes taking for a worm, and nibbling at it, he immediately plucks them both in together. Nehemiah Grew, Musæum.

    Instead of returning a full answer to my book, he manifestly falls a nibbling at one single passage in it. John Tillotson, Pref.


  1. Nibble

    In computing, a nibble (occasionally nybble, nyble, or nybl to match the spelling of byte) is a four-bit aggregation, or half an octet. It is also known as half-byte or tetrade. In a networking or telecommunication context, the nibble is often called a semi-octet, quadbit, or quartet. A nibble has sixteen (24) possible values. A nibble can be represented by a single hexadecimal digit (0–F) and called a hex digit.A full byte (octet) is represented by two hexadecimal digits (00–FF); therefore, it is common to display a byte of information as two nibbles. Sometimes the set of all 256-byte values is represented as a 16×16 table, which gives easily readable hexadecimal codes for each value. Four-bit computer architectures use groups of four bits as their fundamental unit. Such architectures were used in early microprocessors, pocket calculators and pocket computers. They continue to be used in some microcontrollers. In this context, 4-bit groups were sometimes also called characters rather than nibbles.


  1. nibble

    A nibble is a computing term representing four binary digits, also known as bits. It is half of a byte or equal to four bits. Each nibble can represent up to 16 possible values or combinations. It's commonly used in computing and digital systems.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Nibbleverb

    to bite by little at a time; to seize gently with the mouth; to eat slowly or in small bits

  2. Nibbleverb

    to bite upon something gently or cautiously; to eat a little of a thing, as by taking small bits cautiously; as, fishes nibble at the bait

  3. Nibblenoun

    a small or cautious bite

  4. Etymology: [Cf. Nip.]


  1. Nibble

    In computing, a nibble is a four-bit aggregation, or half an octet. As a nibble contains 4 bits, there are sixteen possible values, so a nibble corresponds to a single hexadecimal digit. A full byte is represented by two hexadecimal digits; therefore, it is common to display a byte of information as two nibbles. The nibble is often called a "semioctet" or a "quartet" in a networking or telecommunication context. Sometimes the set of all 256 byte values is represented as a table 16×16, which gives easily readable hexadecimal codes for each value.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Nibble

    nib′l, v.t. to bite by small bits: to eat by little at a time.—v.i. to bite gently: to find fault.—n. act of nibbling: a little bit.—ns. Nibb′ler; Nibb′ling.—adv. Nibb′lingly. [Freq. of nip.]

Matched Categories

How to pronounce nibble?

How to say nibble in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of nibble in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of nibble in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of nibble in a Sentence

  1. Jack BarskyRead MoreJack Barsky:

    Historically, the KGB has always tried to influence and destabilize events all around the world. The explicitly stated goal of the Soviet Union was world communism organized in a Soviet-like system. Therefore, anything that could destabilize free and democratic nations was fair game. The KGB were champions in the game of 'fake news,' which was called 'disinformation' in the old days. While Russia's goals are not as ambitious as those of the Soviet Union, it is quite clear that the Russian leadership desperately wants to re-establish a strong Russia, on par with the United States. Therefore, anything that helps destabilize the US and other Western countries, anything that turns the focus of those countries inward rather than at the real outward threats would benefit Russia. In my view, it is not possible for a foreign nation to have a significant impact on the outcome of elections in this country. Try as they might, all they will be able to do is nibble around the edges.

  2. Sanam Hafeez:

    Be sure to have healthy snacks on hand so you can nibble throughout the day, as opposed to holding out for bigger meals.

  3. Mariana Fulger:

    Life – a sort of a plate of real-imaginary from which I nibble together with the birds of light and darkness, with the poor and well-to-do of the world at grains of to be once rough (like sharp stones), other times more like the pulp of pomegranates and ripe figs; stairs I have to climb in myself and climb down… to sometimes walk along the roads of infinity, other times, how many, to stop before the first step, waiting for the path home…

  4. Kolby Allard:

    I think there were a few times when I pitched myself out of jams and made some pitches when I had to, i thought there were a few times where I was trying to be a little too cute or nibble a little bit, and thats where I was falling behind.

  5. Peter Kenny:

    My suspicion is that you are seeing institutions nibble at extremely compressed valuations, the bottom line is, if you are ending the session with a positive trend, that tends to give the impression that there are buyers out there.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for nibble

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • ohlodávat, hlodat, okusovatCzech
  • knabbern, NibbleGerman
  • μεζέδες, ημιψηφιόλεξη, τσιμπολόγημα, τσιμπολογώ, ροκανίζω, μεζεδάκια, περιτρώγωGreek
  • picotear, comisquear, comiscarSpanish
  • näykkiä, naksu, puolitavu, näykkäistä, näykkäisyFinnish
  • grignoter, quartet, tétrade, semioctet, nibbleFrench
  • criomScottish Gaelic
  • majszol, falatHungarian
  • կրծելArmenian
  • rosicare, stuzzichino, rosicchiare, bocconcino, mordicchiare, morsetto, boccone, unità di 4 bit, semibyte, morsoItalian
  • ニブルJapanese
  • CARPOLatin
  • knibinātLatvian
  • kōhonihoni, tongi, kai whakapītaitaiMāori
  • nibble, knabbelenDutch
  • knaskeNorwegian
  • mordisco, mordiscar, beliscadaPortuguese
  • полубайт, ниббл, грызтьRussian

Get even more translations for nibble »


Find a translation for the nibble definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"nibble." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/nibble>.

Discuss these nibble definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for nibble? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease
    A butch
    B extroversive
    C ectomorphic
    D epidemic

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for nibble: