WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
nail /neɪl/USA pronunciation n. [countable]
  1. a thin, rod-shaped piece of metal, usually having a pointed tip and a flattened head, made to be hammered into wood or other material as a fastener or support.
  2. a thin, hard, horny area on the upper side of the end of a finger or toe.

  • to fasten with a nail or nails: [+ object]to nail a picture to the wall.[+ up + object]to nail up the demands on the wall.[+ object + up]to nail the demands up.
  • to enclose or shut by nailing: [+ object]He nailed the door closed.[+ object + up]He nailed the door up.[+ up + object]They nailed up the door.
  • [+ object][Informal.]
    • to catch; seize:The police nailed him as he was trying to escape.
    • to hit successfully:The batter nailed the ball for a home run.
  • nail down, to make final; settle once and for all: [+ down + object]to nail down an agreement.[+ object + down]Nail it down before you sign anything.
  • idiom
    1. Idiomshit the nail on the head, to say or do exactly the right thing;
      to be exactly right.

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    nail /neɪl/ n
    1. a fastening device usually made from round or oval wire, having a point at one end and a head at the other
    2. anything resembling such a fastening device, esp in function or shape
    3. the horny plate covering part of the dorsal surface of the fingers or toes
      Related adjective(s): ungual, ungular
    4. the claw of a mammal, bird, or reptile
    5. a unit of length, formerly used for measuring cloth, equal to two and a quarter inches
    6. hit the nail on the headto do or say something correct or telling
    7. on the nail(of payments) at once (esp in the phrase pay on the nail)
    vb (transitive)
    1. to attach with or as if with nails
    2. informal to arrest or seize
    3. informal to hit or bring down, as with a shot
    4. informal to expose or detect (a lie or liar)
    5. to fix or focus (one's eyes, attention, etc) on an object
    6. to stud with nails
    Etymology: Old English nǣgl; related to Old High German nagal nail, Latin unguis fingernail, claw, Greek onux

    ˈnailer n

    'nail' also found in these entries:

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