Definition of niggle verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    niggle

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈnɪɡl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈnɪɡl//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they niggle
    BrE BrE//ˈnɪɡl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈnɪɡl//
     
    he / she / it niggles
    BrE BrE//ˈnɪɡlz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈnɪɡlz//
     
    past simple niggled
    BrE BrE//ˈnɪɡld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈnɪɡld//
     
    past participle niggled
    BrE BrE//ˈnɪɡld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈnɪɡld//
     
    -ing form niggling
    BrE BrE//ˈnɪɡlɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈnɪɡlɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to irritate or annoy somebody slightly; to make somebody slightly worried synonym bother niggle (at somebody) A doubt niggled at her. it niggles somebody that… (British English) It niggled him that she had not phoned back. niggle somebody (British English) Something was niggling her.
  2. 2[intransitive] niggle (about/over something) | niggle (at somebody) (for something) to argue about something unimportant; to criticize somebody for something that is not important synonym quibble
  3. Word Origin early 17th cent. (in the sense ‘do in an ineffectual way’): apparently of Scandinavian origin; compare with Norwegian nigla. Current senses date from the late 18th cent.

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