Date: 1300-1400
Language: Middle Low German
Origin: nipen


1 verb
nip1 past tense and past participle nipped, present participle nipping
1 [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] British English informal to go somewhere quickly or for a short time [= pop]:
Have we time to nip down the pub for a quick drink?
Another car nipped in (=moved quickly into a space) in front of me.
I've got to nip home and change my clothes.
2 [intransitive and transitive] to bite someone or something lightly:
She gently nipped the lobe of his ear.
nip at
The fish swam all around her and nipped at her legs.

nip something in the bud

to prevent something from becoming a problem by stopping it as soon as it starts:
Try to nip this kind of bad behaviour in the bud.
4 [transitive] British English to suddenly and quickly press something tightly between two fingers, edges, or surfaces [↪ pinch]:
Sally nipped her cheeks to make them look less pale.
He nipped his finger in the door.
5 [intransitive and transitive] written if cold weather or the wind nips at part of your body or at a plant, it hurts or damages it
nip at
The frost nipped at our fingers.

nip something ↔ off

phrasal verb
DLG to remove a small part of something, especially a plant, by pressing it tightly between your finger and thumb:
She nipped off a dead flower.

Dictionary results for "nip"
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