Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To seize and pinch or bite: The fish nipped the wader's toe.
  • transitive v. To remove or sever by pinching or snipping: nipped off the plant leaf.
  • transitive v. To bite or sting with the cold; chill.
  • transitive v. To check or cut off the growth or development of: a conspiracy that was nipped in the bud by the police. See Synonyms at blast.
  • transitive v. Slang To snatch up hastily.
  • transitive v. Slang To take (the property of another) unlawfully; steal.
  • intransitive v. Chiefly British To move quickly; dart.
  • n. The act or an instance of seizing or pinching.
  • n. A pinch or snip that cuts off or removes a small part: He gave a small nip to each corner of the cloth.
  • n. The small bit or portion so removed: There were nips of construction paper all over the child's table.
  • n. A sharp, stinging quality, as of frosty air.
  • n. Severely sharp cold or frost.
  • n. A cutting remark.
  • n. A sharp, biting flavor; a tang: the nip of Mexican salsa.
  • n. A small amount of liquor.
  • transitive v. To sip (alcoholic liquor) in small amounts: had been nipping brandy.
  • intransitive v. To take a sip or sips of alcoholic liquor: nips all day long.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small quantity of something edible or a potable liquor.
  • n. A nipple, usually of a woman.
  • v. To make a quick, short journey or errand; usually roundtrip.
  • v. To catch and enclose or compress tightly between two surfaces, or points which are brought together or closed; to pinch; to close in upon.
  • v. To remove by pinching, biting, or cutting with two meeting edges of anything; to clip.
  • v. To blast, as by frost; to check the growth or vigor of; to destroy.
  • v. To vex or pain, as by nipping; hence, to taunt.
  • n. A playful bite.
  • n. A pinch with the nails or teeth.
  • n. Briskly cold weather.
  • n. A seizing or closing in upon; a pinching; as, in the northern seas, the nip of masses of ice.
  • n. A small cut, or a cutting off the end.
  • n. A blast; a killing of the ends of plants by frost.
  • n. A biting sarcasm; a taunt.
  • n. The place of intersection where one roll touches another in papermaking.
  • n. A pickpocket.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sip or small draught; esp., a draught of intoxicating liquor; a dram.
  • transitive v. To catch and inclose or compress tightly between two surfaces, or points which are brought together or closed; to pinch; to close in upon.
  • transitive v. To remove by pinching, biting, or cutting with two meeting edges of anything; to clip.
  • transitive v. Hence: To blast, as by frost; to check the growth or vigor of; to destroy.
  • transitive v. To vex or pain, as by nipping; hence, to taunt.
  • n. A seizing or closing in upon; a pinching.
  • n. A pinch with the nails or teeth.
  • n. A small cut, or a cutting off the end.
  • n. A blast; a killing of the ends of plants by frost.
  • n. A biting sarcasm; a taunt.
  • n. A short turn in a rope.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To press sharply and tightly between two surfaces or points, as of the fingers; pinch.
  • Figuratively, to press closely upon; affect; concern.
  • To sever or break the edge or end of by pinching; pinch (off) with the ends of the fingers or with pincers or nippers: with off.
  • To blast, as by frost; destroy; check the growth or vigor of.
  • To affect with a sharp tingling sensation; benumb.
  • To bite; sting.
  • To satirize keenly; taunt sarcastically; vex.
  • To steal, pilfer; purloin.
  • To snatch up hastily.
  • to tie or secure a cable with nippers to the messenger.
  • n. The act of compressing between two opposing surfaces or points, as in seizing and compressing a bit of the skin between the fingers; a pinch.
  • n. A closing in of ice about a vessel so as to press upon or crush her.
  • n. A pinch which severs or removes a part; a snipping, biting, or pinching off.
  • n. A small bit of anything; as much as may be nipped off by the finger and thumb.
  • n. A check to growth from a sudden blasting or attack from frost or cold; a sharp frost-bite which kills the tips or ends of a plant or leaf.
  • n. A biting sarcasm; a taunt.
  • n. A thief; a pickpocket.
  • n. In coal-mining, a thinning of a bed of coal by a gradual depression of the roof, so that the seam sometimes almost entirely disappears for a certain distance, while the beds above and below are only slightly, or not at all, affected in a similar maimer. Also called a want.
  • n. Naut.:
  • n. A short turn in a rope.
  • n. The part of a rope at the place bound by a seizing or caught by jamming.
  • n. In the wool-Combing machine, a mechanism the action of which is closely analogous to that of the human hand in grasping.
  • To take a dram or nip. See nip, n.
  • n. A sip or small draught, especially of some strong spirituous beverage: as, a, nip of brandy.
  • n. A short steep ascent.
  • n. A hill or mountain.
  • n. A turnip.
  • n. Mist; darkness.
  • In cricket:
  • To catch neatly: said of a fielder.
  • To break sharply: said of a bowled ball.
  • n. The place of contact between two cylinders, rollers, or bowls.
  • n. To take a new hold; refresh the memory.
  • n. A low cliff cut in the border of land near the sea.
  • To cut a low cliff in (the border of the land) by wave action.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small sharp bite or snip
  • v. give a small sharp bite to
  • v. squeeze tightly between the fingers
  • n. a tart spicy quality
  • n. (offensive slang) offensive term for a person of Japanese descent
  • n. the taste experience when a savoury condiment is taken into the mouth
  • n. a small drink of liquor
  • v. sever or remove by pinching or snipping
  • n. the property of being moderately cold

Etymologies

Middle English nippen, perhaps from Middle Dutch nipen.
Probably short for nipperkin, of Dutch or Low German origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English nippen ("a small sip"). (Wiktionary)
Diminutive of nipple. (Wiktionary)
Probably from a form of Middle Dutch nipen. Cognate with Danish nive ("pinch"); Low German knipen; German kneipen and kneifen ("to pinch, cut off, nip"), Old Norse hnippa ("to prod, to poke"); Lithuanian knebti. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Mr. Ditton, the village lawyer, also saw it without having recourse to the spy-glass; but as Mr. Ditton had but lately had what he called a nip, and indeed several of them, he was in that happy state of sweet good nature which agrees with the last speaker.

    The Mad Lady

  • I've just had a course of five, which was prompted by a nip from a stray cat, which I feed, here in India.

    The mysteries of rabies Boing Boing

  • If his sister got a nip from the other dog, the brother would fight harder.

    Waldo Jaquith - You’re never anonymous on the internet.

  • Back at the residence, Nasrah took a nip from the prince's bottle of 150-year-old Napoleon.

    Florence of Arabia

  • I reached in my desk drawer and pulled out a "nip" - one of those little bottles of booze you see up by the cash register in a liquor store.

    Matt Slade, Esq.--Pro Bono Czar

  • Whether it is bought by the case or by the bottle - or the 'nip' - averag income drinkers are expecting to face increases that will, by some stretch, force them to compromise their tastes.

    TrinidadExpress Today's News

  • Most moonshine is drunk by African-Americans in unlicensed bars called nip joints or shot houses.

    CHASING the WHITE DOG

  • The connotations are what's important here, though; "nipper" implies a child who's small enough and quick enough to "nip" -- to dart nimbly to and fro, here and there, like the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist or Shakespeare's Puck.

    Losts in Translation

  • And don't forget: The nip is a two pack breakfast.

    I'd forgotten all about Steve Stifler ....

  • A Complete Bunch of Pants: the nip is a two pack breakfast skip to main

    the nip is a two pack breakfast

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