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Affectedly delicate or refined; mincing.

[Perhaps alteration of namby-pamby.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


excessively refined; prim
[C19: imitative of a prim affected enunciation]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈnɪm ə niˈpɪm ə ni)

affectedly delicate or refined; mincing.
[1795–1805; rhyming compound; compare namby -pamby]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.niminy-piminy - affectedly dainty or refinedniminy-piminy - affectedly dainty or refined  
refined - (used of persons and their behavior) cultivated and genteel; "she was delicate and refined and unused to hardship"; "refined people with refined taste"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Pretty has never been a word that really appeals to me - it has connotations of weakness and subjugation and a rather affected, niminy-piminy air to it.
Tynan was not impressed by Vivien Leigh's performance though and wrote: "She picks at the part with the daintiness of a debutante called upon dismember a stag" and described her Lady Macbeth as "more niminy-piminy than thundery-blundery, Max rehearsal Twelfth more viper than anaconda."
Young's observations on "the Jewish Question" are genteel, pseudo-academic and rather niminy-piminy in tone.