- Nail is defined as a thin tough covering that grows from the tips of the fingers and toes.
An example of a nail is what would be cared for and painted during a manicure.
- The definition of a nail is a narrow piece of metal with a sharp point and usually with a flat head used for holding things together or hanging objects.
An example of a nail is what someone would hammer into the wall in order to hang a picture.
- Nail means to attach or join.
An example of to nail is joining two pieces of wood together while building a table.
Nails on a mans fingers.
- a thin, horny covering that grows out over the upper tip of a finger or toe
- a similar growth on a toe of a bird, reptile, etc.; claw
- a tapered piece of metal, commonly pointed and having a flattened head, driven with a hammer, and used to hold pieces or parts together, to hang things on, etc.
- an old cloth measure, equal to 2 inches
Origin of nailMiddle English naile ; from Old English nægl, akin to German nagel ; from Indo-European base an unverified form onogh, nail from source Sanskrit áṅghri-, foot, Classical Greek onyx, nail, Classical Latin unguis, fingernail
- to attach or fasten together or onto something else with or as with nails
- to secure, hold, or fasten shut with nails
- to fix (the eyes, attention, etc.) steadily on an object
- to discover or expose (a lie, etc.)
- Informal to catch, capture, seize, or intercept
- Informal to hit squarely
Origin of nailME nailen < OE mæglan
hard as nails
hit the nail on the head
- to fasten tightly with nails
- to settle definitely; clinch
- to fasten with nails to a wall or at some height
- to fasten (a door, window, etc.) tightly with nails
- A slim, pointed piece of metal hammered into material as a fastener.
- a. A fingernail or toenail.b. A claw or talon.
- Something resembling a nail in shape, sharpness, or use.
- A measure of length formerly used for cloth, equal to 1/16 yard (5.7 centimeters).
transitive verbnailed, nail·ing, nails
- To fasten, join, or attach with or as if with a nail.
- To cover, enclose, or shut by fastening with nails: nail up a window.
- To keep fixed, motionless, or intent: Fear nailed me to my seat.
- Slang a. To stop and seize; catch: Police nailed the suspect.b. To detect and expose: nailed the senator in a lie; nail corruption before it gets out of control.
- Slang a. To strike or bring down: nail a bird in flight; nail a running back.b. To perform successfully or have noteworthy success in: nailed the dive; nailed the exam.
- Baseball To put out (a base runner).
- Vulgar Slang To have sexual intercourse with.
Origin of nailMiddle English, from Old English nægl, fingernail, toenail; see nogh- in Indo-European roots.
left to right: common, finishing, ring, and roofing nails
- The thin, horny plate at the ends of fingers and toes on humans and some other animals.
- When I'm nervous I bite my nails.
- The basal thickened portion of the anterior wings of certain hemiptera.
- The terminal horny plate on the beak of ducks, and other allied birds.
- A spike-shaped metal fastener used for joining wood or similar materials. The nail is generally driven through two or more layers of material by means of impacts from a hammer or other device. It is then held in place by friction.
- One of the four round pedestals (the nails) in Bristol, on which merchants once carried out their business.
- An archaic English unit of length equivalent to 1/20th of an ell or 1/16th of a yard (2.25 inches or 5,715 cm).
From Middle English nail, nayl, Old English næġel, from Proto-Germanic *naglaz (compare West Frisian neil, Low German Nagel, Dutch nagel, German Nagel, Danish negl, Swedish nagel), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃nogʰ- (“nail”) (compare Irish ionga, Latin unguis, Albanian nyell (“ankle, hard part of a limb”), Lithuanian nagas, Russian нога (nogá, “foot, leg”), ноготь (nogoti, “nail”), Ancient Greek ὄνυξ (ónyx), Persian ناخن (nâxon), Sanskrit नख (nakhá)).
(third-person singular simple present nails, present participle nailing, simple past and past participle nailed)
- To fix (an object) to another object using a nail.
- He nailed the placard to the post.
- (intransitive) To drive a nail.
- He used the ax head for nailing.
- (slang) To catch.
- (slang) To expose as a sham.
- (slang) To accomplish (a task) completely and successfully.
- I really nailed that test.
- (slang) To hit (a target) effectively with some weapon.
- (slang) Of a male, to engage in sexual intercourse with.
- There’s a benefit gala at the Boston Pops tonight, and... well, I’m trying to nail the flautist. - Brian Griffin in the TV series Family Guy
From Old English næġlan