Definition of nudge in English:



  • 1 Prod (someone) gently, typically with one's elbow, in order to draw their attention to something.

    ‘people were nudging each other and pointing at me’
    • ‘Ryda nudged West a bit with her elbow, giving him a certain look of urgency.’
    • ‘I gently nudged him with my elbow until he moaned and opened his right eye.’
    • ‘She had been so wrapped up in her thoughts that she hadn't realized it was over until Cassie nudged her with her elbow.’
    • ‘His boyish smirk returned as he nudged her with his elbow.’
    • ‘He didn't notice Selene when she stepped to his side, so she nudged him with her elbow.’
    • ‘I gently nudged her shoulder, but she didn't respond.’
    • ‘‘I was telling you a fact,’ he said, nudging me with his elbow.’
    • ‘Mike whispered to me, nudging me with his elbow.’
    • ‘A young journeyman noticed Joe's dress change and nudged the apprentice next to him.’
    • ‘He smiled and nudged her with his elbow as his own little sign of affection.’
    • ‘Eva nudged me with her elbow and I glanced over to see what she wanted.’
    • ‘Josie made sure to nudge me hard when she caught me looking at Jonny.’
    • ‘Someone gently nudged my shoulder, waking me.’
    • ‘Harley sat beside him, nudging him with an elbow.’
    • ‘I nudged him with my elbow and gestured towards the girl.’
    • ‘She nudges him with her elbow, managing to look - as teenage girls do - simultaneously superior and deprived.’
    • ‘He nudged her with his elbow, reminding her gently, ‘Some girls go for older guys.’’
    • ‘Robin spotted the figure and stared at it, Robin nudged Kyo and pointed out the figure to him.’
    • ‘Jocelyn saw him watching them and nudged Taylor with her elbow.’
    • ‘‘I'll be your boyfriend when Chase is away,’ Greg teased lightly, nudging me with his elbow.’
    poke, elbow, dig, prod, jog, jab, butt
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    1. 1.1Touch or push (something) gently or gradually.
      ‘the canoe nudged a bank of reeds’
      • ‘So, she made her way to it and slowly nudged it forward, keeping a wary eye on him.’
      • ‘So I nudged the carton a little bit to push it away from the door and then I heard something splat.’
      • ‘When he was finished, he switched gracefully back to his notebook as if he'd never been interrupted, gently nudging the paper towards Grant with his right hand, the one he was not using to write.’
      • ‘They nudged the door open, just wide enough to poke their heads out.’
      • ‘With that, he nudged the door open with his head, and went in.’
      • ‘I find a large spoon helps here, and then you can gently nudge the latke off the spoon into the oil.’
      • ‘The canteen was getting more and more cramped by the second and I found myself having to bump and nudge my way through the mass of students crowded in front of the exit.’
      • ‘Something gently nudged her side, and she jumped up in shock.’
      • ‘When he saw her making no move to drink it he nudged it closer to her.’
      • ‘The Chinese Central Bank nudged its currency higher against the dollar last week by 2 percent.’
      • ‘Now Cosey's hand nudges Genesis's sleeve gently - so gently that if he noticed, she could claim she didn't even know they were touching.’
      • ‘Joe bit his lip, then gently nudged Azara's foot with his own.’
      • ‘But like last year's computer, it's been nudged aside by new technology.’
      • ‘Darren Young, alone on the line, reacted by nudging the ball with his knee.’
      • ‘He was pressing his lips against hers harder and she felt him gently nudge his tongue against her lips.’
      • ‘‘Hey,’ he said, nudging my side gently with his knee.’
      • ‘They stay like this for who knows how long, exchanging kisses and enjoying each other's touch, until they're disturbed by the horse nudging his nose in between them.’
      • ‘Sentences start, then stop; the subject matter is gently nudged in a slightly different direction.’
      • ‘Close your hands over the newly formed hair roll and gently nudge the hair to the right in a rolling motion.’
      • ‘His foot gently nudged a wooden bowl full of water towards her field of vision.’
      touch, run into
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    2. 1.2Coax or gently encourage (someone) to do something.
      ‘we have to nudge the politicians in the right direction’
      • ‘I nudged him forward, continuing to urge the horse toward the gate.’
      • ‘"This one'll do, " Avery whispered, nudging the horse forward.’
      • ‘Laurie took a deep breath and then nudged her horse into a canter.’
      • ‘I think physicians are being nudged back in that direction, and I am very encouraged by that.’
      • ‘Some lawmakers and families of Japanese abduction victims are calling on the government to impose the sanctions as a measure to nudge North Korea to respond to Japan's demands.’
      prompt, encourage, coax, stimulate, prod, jog
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    3. 1.3Approach (an age, figure, or level) very closely.
      ‘both men were nudging fifty’
      • ‘Australia is an immigrant country, and these days nudging 50 per cent of the population have some non-English-speaking background.’
      • ‘But I remind myself that above the waves, the temperature is nudging the 30s.’
      • ‘Her approval rating in New York is nudging 70 percent.’
      • ‘If a poll could be confined to those who are both informed and financially disinterested in the issue, the figure would be nudging zero.’
      • ‘Those with long memories may recall that the share price was nudging the 100p level some 15 years ago.’
      • ‘That level of indebtedness is nudging towards 65 percent of our gross domestic product.’
      • ‘The transport firm was a stock market star during the 1990s, with its share price nudging close to the £3 level in 1998.’
      • ‘Further violence threatens to push the oil price - which is nudging towards record levels owing to unrest in the Middle East - even higher.’
      • ‘The temperature gauge was nudging 38 degrees centigrade at pitch level, that's nearly 100 in old money.’
      • ‘He revealed Russia's economic growth this year would nudge six per cent.’
      approach, come close to, get close to, be verging on, border on, near
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  • A light touch or push.

    ‘he gave her shoulder a nudge’
    figurative ‘she appreciated the nudge to her memory’
    • ‘Conlon rose highest at the far post to knock the ball back across the face of the Boro goal to give Duffield a simple nudge home with his head.’
    • ‘The best theories suggest that gravitational nudges by Jupiter can throw main-belt asteroids into these smaller, more elliptical orbits.’
    • ‘He turned and grinned at Michaela, promptly receiving a nudge in his shoulder from the ignored Snow.’
    • ‘A slight nudge or unintentional push might well be a prelude to an exchange of oral abuse or fist fights.’
    • ‘Why hasn't evolution programmed human babies to seek parental favor with pleasant sounds and gestures - a nudge, for example, or a hushed whimper?’
    • ‘Think of the effort you would put into pushing a SUV, and compare that to the gentle nudge a toy car needs to get moving (well, before my son gets at it).’
    • ‘From there it was a question of nudges and pushes.’
    • ‘But I'm sure she will, when I need that nudge in the right direction!’
    • ‘Fortunately, no digits got slammed, but I quickly learned that it's necessary to give the slide stop a nudge to make sure it was engaged fully.’
    • ‘One of the three guards escorting the Enforcer gave her a hard nudge with the butt of his rifle.’
    • ‘It is like a pencil poised on its tip - it might be perfectly balanced but the slightest nudge pushes the pencil over and it never recovers this equilibrium point.’
    • ‘When her foot collided with something hard, she gave it a light nudge, and then quickly flicked her eyes up to Josh to see if he'd noticed anything.’
    • ‘He felt a gentle nudge against his shoulder, and he stood up.’
    • ‘After that, it only took a simple nudge from Grand to reach victory!’
    • ‘Onam smiled warmly and gave White's shoulder a friendly nudge.’
    • ‘The company has been hovering around profitability for a couple of quarters, and the cuts should give it an extra nudge toward the black.’
    • ‘Anna gave him a friendly nudge with her shoulder.’
    • ‘My thought process was interrupted by a light nudge from Jase as we headed toward the car.’
    • ‘She then received a light nudge on her arm and she faced Jill again, ‘So do you go to the same school as Theodore?’’
    • ‘Maybe the nudge wasn't as light as it was described.’
    poke, dig in the ribs, dig, prod, jog, jab, butt, push
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  • nudge nudge (wink wink)

    • Used to draw attention to a sexual innuendo in the previous statement.

      ‘haven't seen much of the beach—we've been catching up on our sleep (nudge nudge)’
      • ‘So I'm pretty sure he will jump - nudge nudge wink wink, get it?’
      • ‘Surely, sexual abuse of boys and men is far less likely to be reported - and when it does, what about the wink wink, nudge nudge approach of both the authorities and the community at large?’
      • ‘But for anyone taller than a metre, what makes it bearable are the wink-wink, nudge nudge grown-up jokes.’
      • ‘If any of you are particularly astute, you may notice that the end of this chapter was not originally the end, nudge nudge, wink wink . But I have to keep this family friendly.’
      • ‘So, you know, nudge nudge, maybe those scratched glasses also have a big crack in the plastic frame?’
      • ‘But there is always the nudge nudge wink wink reassurance that when the chips were down these guys simply did not have the necessary backbone to realise their potential.’
      • ‘You must know this by now: our feisty premier alluded to the fact that Albertans wouldn't be pushed on this one, nudge nudge.’
      • ‘Actually, I never thought of giving Michael a girlfriend that Michelle didn't like - but that would add a lot more to the plot before I ruin every other character's life in the end - wink wink, nudge nudge.’
      • ‘Oh yes and what else did she do in his office nudge nudge?’
      • ‘It may sound like one of those late night SBS Swedish movies, nudge nudge wink wink, but alas, of all the films bearing this name, this is the bottom of the barrel.’


Late 17th century (as a verb): of unknown origin; compare with Norwegian dialect nugga, nyggja to push, rub.