nibble (away) on (something)

nibble (away) on (something)

1. Literally, to eat something at a slow pace and in small bites. I wonder if Mary isn't feeling well—she only nibbled on her dinner. He sat on the bench, happily nibbling away on his cookie.
2. To bite something very softly so as not to break the surface. He started nibbling on my elbows, thinking it would turn me on.
See also: nibble, on

nibble at something

to take tiny bites of some kind of food. The children nibbled at their dinner because they had eaten too much candy. Stop nibbling at that candy.
See also: nibble

nibble away at something

to eat at something in tiny bits; to erode away tiny bits of something. The waves nibbled away at the base of the cliff, year after year. The mice nibbled away at the huge wheel of cheese.
See also: away, nibble

nibble at

v.
1. To eat something by taking small bites: The mice have been nibbling at the curtains.
2. To eat a small amount of something, especially unenthusiastically: She only nibbled at her peas.
3. To bite something but not break the surface; nip at something: My date nibbled at my ear during the movie.
See also: nibble

nibble on

v.
1. To eat something by taking small, quick bites, often as a snack or a light meal: Dinner wasn't for another two hours, so I nibbled on some potato chips. The rabbit nibbled on a carrot.
2. To bite something but not break the surface: Nervously, I nibbled on my pencil's eraser during the test.
See also: nibble, on

nibble

1. n. a cautious or preliminary response to something. (see also nybble.) My advertisement got three nibbles this morning.
2. in. to reply cautiously or tentatively to something. I hope someone who wants to buy my car nibbles at the description I posted on the Internet.