nip-py / nĭp-ē
1. having a tendency to bite
Spoiling may create a pushy, nippy dog that lacks confidence.
From “Choosing a Dog: Your Guide to Picking the Perfect Breed” by Nancy Baer and Steve Duno
2. chilly; cold
And the days of a long, hot Kansas summer, a glorious autumn, and a short, nippy winter swung by in their appointed seasons.
From “A Master’s Degree” by Margaret Hill McCarter, 1860 – 1938
3. sharp to the taste; pungent
When I’m big I’ll never eat rice or mutton, but nice, nippy, mustardy meat, like what father used to give us from his dinners.
From “Two Little Travellers” by Ray Cunningham, pseudonym of Frances Browne Arthur
4. nimble; quick; lively
“You’re so nippy at it,” John said, “couldn’t you do it very slowly once?
From “The Adventures of Peter Pan” by James Matthew Barrie, 1860 – 1937
An adjective formed from the English noun nip (something that bites, a sharp bite, a sharp stinging feeling of cold), which comes from the Middle English verb nippen (bite, cut off, pinch, seize) of Germanic origin in general and akin to the Old Norse verb hnippa (prod).
Thank you to Allen Ward for providing this etymology.