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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 ?
Andrew Nelson, of Mirfield, with the PS20 notes withdrawn from a cash machine which he says have been nibbled by a mouse
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.
The hospital administration conceded that rats had nibbled at the baby's ear but claimed that the child was stillborn.
A: Your flowerless stems and nibbled flowers are most likely the result of caterpillar damage.
The store was given a pounds 16,000 fine after an inquiry was sparked by a customer who bought a loaf of bread which had been nibbled.
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.
Dusky-footed wood rats (Neotoma fuscipes) along the west coast of Mexico and the United States leave nibbled bits of bay leaves around their sleeping chambers, explains Richard B.
We just nibbled away, nibbled away and got some runs.
Then one exhibit - a chocolate mould made from an operation scar - was left with tooth prints in it and later a thumb was nibbled off a chocolate hand exhibit.
Some of the unfortunate members of the raw vegetable club even studied the forbidden chocolate chips, and a few nibbled at the radish.
Fat rabbits nibbled placidly as a giant Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 came in for a landing.
Once seated, the Zagat party nibbled terrine of foe gras with mache (lamb's lettuce) and pear butter on grilled walnut bread and washed it down with an Alsatian gewurztraminer, 1993 Hengst, Domaine Zind Humbrecht.