Tuesday, June 14, 2011


nig-gle (nĭgˈəl)

1. To obsess over petty details.
I am resisting the urge to niggle in writing historical fiction, even though excessive research only increases the temptation.
2. To find fault constantly and trivially.
The most difficult people to argue with are those who niggle about your words or phrases, rather than listening to what you have to say.

Synonyms: bother, carp, cavil, censure, complain, criticize, find fault, fuss, grumble, knock, nitpick, objurgate, pain, peck, pick, quibble, reproach.

3. To eat sparingly.
At lunch, I tend to just niggle over treats or whatever else is available.

Synonyms: nibble, snack.

4. To tease contemptuously.
I suppose she has been niggled so much in her life that she doesn't know how to discuss things rationally when someone disagrees with her.

Synonyms: annoy, badger, bait, bedevil, beleaguer, bully, dog, gnaw, goad, harass, hector, jive, josh, mock, pick on, plague, rag, ride, ridicule, roast, slam, taunt, torment, vex, worry.

1. Small cramped handwriting.
She had so much to tell me on one small postcard that her message arrived as an illegible niggle.

Synonyms: scribble, scrawl.

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