Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: DRINK

Sense: 1, 4-5
Date: 1500-1600
Origin: NIP1
Sense: 3
Date: 1900-2000
Origin: Nipponese 'Japanese' (19-21 centuries), from Japanese Nippon 'Japan'
Sense: 2
Date: 1700-1800
Origin: Probably from nipperkin 'small container for alcoholic drink' (17-19 centuries), probably from Dutch or Low German

nip

2 noun
     
nip2 [countable]
1 the act or result of biting something lightly or pressing something between two fingers, edges, or surfaces:
His dog gave me a painful nip on the leg.
2DFD a small amount of strong alcoholic drink
nip of
a nip of brandy
3

a nip in the air

coldness in the air
4

nip and tuck

American English informal
a) equally likely to happen or not happen:
We made it to the airport, but it was nip and tuck.
b) if two competitors are nip and tuck in a race or competition, they are doing equally well [= neck and neck]:
The fourth quarter was nip and tuck, but the Bulls won 92-90.
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