Word of the Day: nip

Word of the Day
July 25, 2016
nip (verb, noun)
/nɪp/   sound icon
Nipping flowers off of a plant
To nip means 'to squeeze something really tightly' and also 'to cut off,' by either biting or pinching. We also use nip when it's too cold meaning 'to affect painfully.' Informally, nip means 'to defeat someone by a close margin' and, mainly in US English, it means 'to steal.' As a noun, a nip is sharp bite, a small quantity of something, and also a biting cold.


Example sentences
The neighbors' dog always nips at my heels as I walk past their house.
Eugene nipped off some of the leaves of the plant.
The cold nipped their faces.
We nipped the other team to win the cup.
Amanda nipped $20 from her dad's wallet.
The dog gave Ben a painful nip.
Penny offered her guest a nip of brandy.
The sun was out but, from the nip in the air, it was obvious it was winter.


Words often used with nip
nip something in the bud: to stop something before it really gets started. Example: "Tom's parents didn't approve of his relationship with Jane and tried to nip it in the bud as soon as they started seeing each other."
Multi-word forms
nip out (mainly UK): go out briefly. Example: "I'm just nipping out to buy some bread."
Additional information
Nip is also a small drink of liquor, and as a verb, it means to drink an alcoholic drink in little sips.
Did you know?
A nip and tuck is an informal name for a cosmetic surgical procedure involving removing some skin and perhaps fat in order to give a tighter, more youthful appearance. It is from this procedure that the US TV show Nip/Tuck, which is set in a cosmetic surgery clinic, takes its name.
Nip dates back to the mid- to late 15th century, and comes from the Middle English word nyppe, meaning 'to pinch.' It is similar to the Old Norse verb hnippa, which meant 'to poke or thrust.'
Nip in other languages
NIp was suggested by Erika, from Brazil
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