Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “niggle”

See all translations

niggle

verb [I or T] uk   /ˈnɪɡ.l̩/ us  

niggle verb [I or T] (WORRY)

to worry someone slightly, usually for a long time: I just can't remember his name - it's been niggling me for a couple of weeks. One thought kept niggling at her.

niggle verb [I or T] (CRITICIZE)

UK to criticize someone about small details or give too much attention to details: She niggles endlessly over the exact pronunciation. The accounts department is niggling me for ten pence they say I owe them.

niggle

noun [C] uk   /ˈnɪɡ.l̩/ us  

niggle noun [C] (WORRY)

a small doubt or worry: Don't you feel even a slight niggle about the morality of your experiments?

niggle noun [C] (CRITICISM)

UK a small criticism: I do have a few minor niggles about the book, but generally it's very good.
niggling
adjective [before noun] uk   /-l̩.ɪŋ/ /-lɪŋ/ us  
a niggling doubt/fear a niggling comment/criticism
(Definition of niggle from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of niggle?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “niggle” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

luck

the force that causes things, especially good things, to happen to you by chance and not as a result of your own efforts or abilities

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

flower beard noun

January 19, 2015
a beard adorned with flowers And some of said beard-rockers are even turning it up a notch, painting trend on top of trend with what’s come to be known as ‘the flower beard.’

Read More