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1. To give (someone or something) little bites. Their dog kept nipping at my heels whenever I walked through the house. I know some people go crazy for the treatment, but I can't stand the feeling of fish nipping at my feet!
2. To sting (a part of one's body) with cold. The air had just started nipping at our noses by the time we reached the house. There's nothing like settling down in front of a fire with a hot drink after the cold wind has been nipping at your cheeks on a long, satisfying bike ride.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
nip at someone or something
to bite at someone or something. The dog nipped at the visitor, but didn't cause any real harm. A small dog nipped at my heels.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To grab and pinch or bite: The fish nipped at our feet when we walked in the pond.
2. To bite or sting with the cold: The wind was nipping at our nose.
3. To sip some drink, often alcoholic, in small amounts: They were caught nipping at the whiskey again.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.