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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

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

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


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.
References in periodicals archive ?
They demanded the arrest of the erring staff and said the hospital administration could not offer any explanation as to how the infant's ear was nibbled at by rats.
DAMNING EVIDENCE: nibbled and containing mouse droppings during an environmental health inspection at Ad Foods in Foleshill Road
There is something that removes the blooms, so I'm left with a bunch of flowerless stems, though sometimes the flowers get nibbled on without being severed from the stem.
The squirrels became habituated to foraging around the ground, and as the bulbs emerged--hyacinth, daffodils, tulip--the squirrels nibbled up their delicate flowering stems, one and all, as if they were the most delectable asparagus tips
Andrea, 35, fled indoors yesterday after rain brought out the insects which nibbled her incessantly.
After the Mass there was a reception, and after we had nibbled on pastries in the basement we went upstairs to join a long line of people waiting to meet the bishop.
The lioness, possibly inspired by the "Touching is Good" slogan for Nintendo DS, wrapped its paws around Steve-O and nibbled at his hat.
SCORES of dead mice, droppings and sliced loaves nibbled by rodents were found at a Merseyside supermarket.
IT was love-all in the stands at Wimbledon yesterday as Sienna Miller nibbled Jude Law's ear.
Regardless of the delay, when next offered cinnamon-flavored food, the fruit and insect eaters barely nibbled their meal.
The edges of the insect's large, leathery wings have a vein pattern and frayed edges similar to a real leaf that's been nibbled by hungry caterpillars.
A LION was so surprised to find a man in his zoo enclosure that he only nibbled the intruder when he screamed, officials said.
Raiter testified that Rondeau grabbed his throat while Barber nibbled on his left ear, before sinking his teeth into it.
The being then nibbled on the antenna of one the Company's trademark Immediate Response Vehicles, walked up the ramp to the Mother Ship and, using the onboard communicator, said: "The truth may be out there.
Even greater fortune is promised by eating food the holy rodents have drooled on or nibbled.