AskDefine | Define nip

Dictionary Definition



1 a small drink of liquor; "he poured a shot of whiskey" [syn: shot]
2 a person of Japanese descent [syn: Jap]
3 a tart spiciness [syn: piquance, piquancy, tang, tanginess, zest]
4 a small drink [syn: sip]
5 small sharp biting [syn: pinch]


1 squeeze tightly between the fingers; "He pinched her behind"; "She squeezed the bottle" [syn: pinch, squeeze, twinge, tweet, twitch]
2 give a small sharp bite to; "The Queen's corgies always nip at her staff's ankles"
3 sever or remove by pinching or snipping; "nip off the flowers" [syn: nip off, clip, snip, snip off] [also: nipping, nipped]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Nip



  • , /nɪp/, /nIp/
    Rhymes with: -ɪp

Etymology 1

nippen "a small sip".


  1. A small quantity of something edible or a potable liquor.
    "I'll just take a nip of that cake."
    "He had a nip of whiskey."

Etymology 2

Diminutive of nipple.


  1. A nipple, usually of a woman.

Etymology 3

nipen. Cognate with Danish niipen "to pinch", knippen "to nip, clip, pinch, or snap", knijpen "to pinch"; Low German knipen; German kneipen and kneifen, "to pinch, cut off, nip"; Lithuanian knebti.


  1. A playful bite.
    The puppy gave his owner’s finger a nip.
  2. A pinch with the nails or teeth; origin of the idiom to nip in the bud.
  3. Briskly cold weather.
    There is a nip in the air. It is nippy outside.
  4. A seizing or closing in upon; a pinching; as, in the northern seas, the nip of masses of ice.
  5. A small cut, or a cutting off the end.
  6. A blast; a killing of the ends of plants by frost.
  7. A biting sarcasm; a taunt. (Latimer.)
  8. A short turn in a rope. Nip and tuck, a phrase signifying equality in a contest. [Low, U.S.]

Etymology 4


  1. To catch and inclose or compress tightly between two surfaces, or points which are brought together or closed; to pinch; to close in upon.
    • "May this hard earth cleave to the Nadir hell, Down, down, and close again, and nip me flat, If I be such a traitress." — Tennyson
  2. To remove by pinching, biting, or cutting with two meeting edges of anything; to clip.
    • "The small shoots ... must be nipped off." — Mortimer.
  3. To blast, as by frost; to check the growth or vigor of; to destroy.
  4. To vex or pain, as by nipping; hence, to taunt.
    • "And sharp remorse his heart did prick and nip." — Spenser

Etymology 5


  1. To make a quick, short journey or errand; usually roundtrip.
    • "Why don’t you nip down to the grocer’s for some milk?"





Extensive Definition

Nip may refer to:
  • Nip is a derogatory word for a Japanese person. It is derived from "Nippon" (mispronounced with a short "i" sound), the Japanese term for Japan. Usage in this context probably peaked around the time of World War II. It is seldom used this way today. Heard frequently on the WWII-based sitcom McHale's Navy.
  • Nip can also refer to a small quantity (mostly of a drink), such as a shot of liquor. In relation to spirits it tends to refer to a small, unmeasured quantity, but in Britain a nip of beer is specifically defined as a third of a pint (189ml). This is one of the three legal sizes for draught beer glasses; it was formerly used for very strong beer but is now rarely seen.
  • Nip is also used as part of the expression nip and tuck, originally a close contest, but now more often a slang reference to plastic surgery. See Nip/Tuck for the television series.
  • Nip can also refer to NIP number is a number under which your company is evidenced as a taxpayer (Poland).
  • Possibly the most common modern usage is in the expression nipped in the bud, a reference to something ended before it reached its full potential. Example: The athlete's career was nipped in the bud by major injuries.
  • to nip is a verb meaning something along the lines of 'to move quickly, but not very far', such as in the phrase "I'll just nip next door" and also 'to bite lightly (with intent to get one's attention but not to harm them)' as in "The hungry dog nipped at its owner's heals."
  • nip is also used as a synonym for 'chill' as in the phrase "there's a nip in the air tonight".
  • By extension of the meaning of the last two above, nippy or nipster can mean either chilly or quick, depending on the context, used in a sentence: "It's nippy outside today!" or "It's nipster!"
  • Nip in paper making is the place of intersection where one roll touches another.
  • Nip Slang for nipple as in "Nip slip"
  • to nip in slang is also a reference to someone's nipples being in an erect state often displaying through a layer of clothes.
  • Hamburgers served at the Salisbury House restaurant chain in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada are known as "nips".
  • Nip is scots slang for or "Gettin' Aff"
NIP or NIPS may stand for:
nip in Italian: NIP

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abbreviate, abduct, abridge, abscind, absolute zero, abstract, acute pain, adhere to, afflict, agonize, ail, algidity, amputate, and, annex, annihilate, approach, appropriate, arrest, bag, balk, ball the jack, ban, bar, barrel, bear hug, benumb, beverage, bib, bite, bite the tongue, bitterness, blast, blast-freeze, bleakness, blight, bob, boil down, bolus, boom, boost, booze, boring pain, borrow, bowl along, breeze, breeze along, briskness, brush, bumper, burn, cabbage, capsulize, carry off, center, centralize, chafe, champ, charley horse, chaw, check, chew, chill, chilliness, chip, chomp, clamp, clamping, clamping down, clasp, cleave to, clench, clinch, cling, clinging, clip, close, close in, close up, close with, clout, clutch, cold, coldness, come together, compress, compression, concenter, concentralize, concentrate, condense, congeal, contract, converge, convulse, cool, coolness, coolth, cop, cramp, cramps, crib, crick, crispness, crop, crucify, crumb, crush, cryogenics, cryology, cud, cull, curtail, cut, cut along, cut away, cut back, cut down, cut off, cut off short, cut out, cut short, darting pain, dash, dash off, death grip, decrease in temperature, defraud, dig out, dispose of, distress, do away with, dock, dose, draft, drain the cup, dram, drench, drink, drink bottoms-up, drink deep, drink hard, drink off, drink up, drop, elide, eliminate, embezzle, embrace, end, ensphere, enucleate, epitomize, eradicate, except, excise, exclude, excruciate, extinguish, extirpate, extort, fall in with, fester, filch, finish, finish off, firm hold, fix, fleet, flit, fly, fly low, follow strong drink, foot, foothold, footing, foreshorten, freeze, freeze solid, freeze to, freezing point, freshness, fret, frigidity, frost, frostbite, frostiness, frustrate, fulgurant pain, funnel, gall, gargle, gelidity, get rid of, ginger, girdle pain, give pain, glaciate, glacify, gnash, gnaw, gnawing, go fast, go through, gob, grapple, grasp, grate, grind, grip, gripe, griping, grog, gulp, guts, guzzle, hang on, hang on to, harrow, hasten, hasten off, highball, hitch, hold, hold fast, hold on, hold on to, hold tight, hook, hotfoot, hotness, hug, hurry away, hurt, hustle, ice, iciness, imbibe, inclemency, inflame, inflict pain, intense cold, intersect, iron grip, irritate, isolate, jigger, jolt, jumping pain, keenness, keep hold of, kick, kidnap, kill, kill by inches, kink, knock back, knock off, lacerate, lancinating pain, lap, lap up, libation, lift, light out, liquor up, liveliness, lop, low temperature, make away with, make knots, make off with, martyr, martyrize, meet, morceau, morsel, mouthful, mow, munch, mutilate, nab, nail, narrow the gap, never let go, nibble, nick, nip off, nippiness, numb, outstrip the wind, pain, palm, pang, pare, paroxysm, patch, peel, peg, penetrate, pepperiness, pick out, pierce, pilfer, pinch, poach, poll, pollard, portion, potation, potion, pour it on, press, pressure, prick, prolong the agony, prune, pull, punch, purchase, purloin, put paid to, put to torture, quaff, quick-freeze, quid, raciness, rack, rankle, rasp, rawness, reap, recap, recapitulate, reduce, refreeze, refrigerate, regelate, relish, retrench, rigor, rip, root out, round, round of drinks, rub, rule out, run, run away with, run together, rush, rustle, scamper off, scorch, scrap, scrounge, seizure, set apart, set aside, severity, shanghai, sharp air, sharp pain, sharpness, shave, shear, shiver, shoot, shooting, shooting pain, shoplift, shorten, shot, shred, sip, sizzle, skim, skin out, slaughter, sliver, slug, slurp, smithereen, snap, snappiness, snare, snatch, snick, snifter, snip, snippet, snitch, snort, snub, soak, spasm, speed, spice, spiciness, splinter, spot, squeeze, squeezing, stab, stabbing pain, stamp out, steal, stick to, sting, stitch, storm along, strike off, strip, strip off, stunt, suck, sum up, summarize, sup, swallow, sweep, swig, swill, swindle, swipe, synopsize, tag, take, take in, take off, take out, tang, tanginess, tank up, taper, tatter, tear, tear along, tear off, tear out, telescope, thieve, thrill, throes, throttle, thunder along, thwart, tight grip, tighten, tightening, tipple, to, toehold, tope, tormen, torment, torture, toss down, toss off, tot, trim, truncate, tweak, twinge, twist, twitch, unite, wad up, walk off with, wet, whip off, whisk, whiz, whiz off, wipe out, wound, wrench, wring, zest, zestfulness, zing, zip, zoom
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