n. & v.
1 a small usu. sharpened metal spike with a broadened flat head, driven in with a hammer to join things together or to serve as a peg, protection (cf. HOBNAIL), or decoration.
2 a a horny covering on the upper surface of the tip of the human finger or toe. b a claw or talon. c a hard growth on the upper mandible of some soft-billed birds.
3 hist. a measure of cloth length (equal to 21/4 inches).
1 fasten with a nail or nails (nailed it to the beam; nailed the planks together).
2 fix or keep (a person, attention, etc.) fixed.
3 a secure, catch, or get hold of (a person or thing). b expose or discover (a lie or a liar).
Phrases and idioms:
hard as nails 1 callous; unfeeling.
2 in good physical condition. nail-biting causing severe anxiety or tension. nail-brush a small brush for cleaning the nails. nail one's colours to the mast persist; refuse to give in.
nail down
1 bind (a person) to a promise etc.
2 define precisely.
3 fasten (a thing) with nails. nail enamel US = nail polish. nail-file a roughened metal or emery strip used for smoothing the nails. nail-head Archit. an ornament like the head of a nail. nail in a person's coffin something thought to increase the risk of death. nail polish a varnish applied to the nails to colour them or make them shiny. nail-punch (or -set) a tool for sinking the head of a nail below a surface. nail-scissors small curved scissors for trimming the nails.
nail up
1 close (a door etc.) with nails.
2 fix (a thing) at a height with nails. nail varnish Brit. = nail polish. on the nail (esp. of payment) without delay (cash on the nail).
nailed adj. (also in comb.). nailless adj.
Etymology: OE naeliggel, naeligglan f. Gmc

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nail — (n[=a]l), n. [AS. n[ae]gel, akin to D. nagel, OS. & OHG. nagal, G. nagel, Icel. nagl, nail (in sense 1), nagli nail (in sense 3), Sw. nagel nail (in senses 1 and 3), Dan. nagle, Goth. ganagljan to nail, Lith. nagas nail (in sense 1), Russ. nogote …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nail — may refer to: Nail (anatomy), toughened keratin at the end of an animal digit Nail (beak), a plate of hard horny tissue at the tip of some bird beaks Nail (fastener), the pin shaped fastener used in engineering, woodworking and construction Nail… …   Wikipedia

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  • Nail — Nail, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Nailed} (n[=a]ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Nailing}.] [AS. n[ae]glian. See {Nail}, n.] 1. To fasten with a nail or nails; to close up or secure by means of nails; as, to nail boards to the beams. [1913 Webster] He is now dead …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • nail — ► NOUN 1) a small metal spike with a broadened flat head, hammered in to join things together or to serve as a hook. 2) a horny covering on the upper surface of the tip of the finger and toe in humans and other primates. ► VERB 1) fasten with a… …   English terms dictionary

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  • nail — [nāl] n. [ME naile < OE nægl, akin to Ger nagel < IE base * onogh, nail > Sans áṅghri , foot, Gr onyx, nail, L unguis, fingernail] 1. a) a thin, horny covering that grows out over the upper tip of a finger or toe b) a similar growth on a …   English World dictionary

  • Nail —   [neɪl; englisch »Nagel«], frühere britische Längeneinheit, 1 Nail = 2¼ Inch = 5,715 cm.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • nail — [v1] fasten, fix with pointed object attach, beat, bind, drive, hammer, hit, hold, join, pin, pound, secure, sock*, spike, strike, tack, whack*; concepts 85,160,189 Ant. unfasten, unnail nail [v2] capture, arrest apprehend, bag, catch, collar*,… …   New thesaurus

  • nail up — To close or fasten with or as if with nails • • • Main Entry: ↑nail …   Useful english dictionary

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