—v.t. 1. to squeeze or compress tightly between two surfaces or points; pinch; bite.
2. to take off by pinching, biting, or snipping (usually fol. by off): He nipped off a piece of steak and gave it to the dog. 3. to check in growth or development.
4. to affect sharply and painfully or injuriously, as a very cold temperature: a cold wind that nips the fingers. 5. Informal.to snatch away suddenly.
6. Informal.to defeat (an opponent) by a very close margin; edge.
7. Informal.to steal or pilfer.
8. Naut. a. (of ice) to press (a ship) from opposite sides.
b. to seize (a taut rope) to another rope.
—v.i. 1. Chiefly Brit. Slang.to leave stealthily; sneak away; flee (often fol. by away).
2. nip in the bud. See bud1 (def. 6).
—n. 1. an act of nipping; a pinch or small bite: The dog took several nips at our heels. 2. a biting quality, as in cold or frosty air: There's a nip in the air this morning. 3. sharp cold; a sharp touch of frost: The trees had felt the first nip of winter. 4. a sharp or biting remark.
5. a biting taste or tang, esp. in some cheese.
6. a small bit or quantity of anything: a nip of bread to stave off hunger. 7. Naut. a. an abrupt turn or twist in a rope.
b. a part of a rope or chain bound by a seizing or nipper.
8. Usually, nips. nipper (def. 2).
9. nip and tuck, with each competitor equaling or closely contesting the speed, scoring, or efforts of the other: It was nip and tuck as to which sailboat would reach port first.