WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
nest /nɛst/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Birdsa bowl-shaped or pocketlike structure, often of twigs, grasses, and mud, prepared by a bird for holding eggs until they hatch and for caring for young.
  2. Animal Behaviorany structure or shelter used for keeping eggs and raising young:a wasps' nest.
  3. a snug retreat;
  4. a set of items that fit close together or one within another:a nest of tables.
  5. a place where something bad is kept or grows:a nest of thieves.

  1. Zoology to build or have a nest:[no object]Many birds nest in trees.
  2. to fit together or one within another: [no object]The plastic bowls nest for storage.[+ object]You can nest one bowl within another.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
nest  (nest),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Birdsa pocketlike, usually more or less circular structure of twigs, grass, mud, etc., formed by a bird, often high in a tree, as a place in which to lay and incubate its eggs and rear its young;
    any protected place used by a bird for these purposes.
  2. Zoology, Animal Behaviora place used by insects, fishes, turtles, rabbits, etc., for depositing their eggs or young.
  3. Zoologya number of birds, insects, animals, etc., inhabiting one such place.
  4. a snug retreat or refuge;
    resting place;
  5. an assemblage of things lying or set close together, as a series of boxes or trays, that fit within each other:a nest of tables.
  6. a place where something bad is fostered or flourishes:a nest of vice; a robber's nest.
  7. the occupants or frequenters of such a place.

  1. to settle or place (something) in or as if in a nest:to nest dishes in straw.
  2. to fit or place one within another:to nest boxes for more compact storage.

  1. Zoologyto build or have a nest:The swallows nested under the eaves.
  2. to settle in or as if in a nest.
  3. to fit together or within another or one another:bowls that nest easily for storage.
  4. to search for or collect nests:to go nesting.
  5. Computingto place a routine inside another routine that is at a higher hierarchical level.
nesta•ble, adj. 
nester, n. 
nestlike′, adj. 
nesty, adj. 
  • bef. 900; Middle English, Old English (cognate with Dutch, German nest; akin to Latin nīdus nest, Old Irish net, Welsh nyth, Sanskrit nīḍa lair) Indo-European *nizdo- bird's nest, equivalent. to *ni down (see nether) + *zd-, variant of *sd-, ablaut variant of *sed-, verb, verbal base meaning "sit'' (see sit) + *-o- theme vowel

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

nest /nɛst/ n
  1. a place or structure in which birds, fishes, insects, reptiles, mice, etc, lay eggs or give birth to young
  2. a number of animals of the same species and their young occupying a common habitat: an ants' nest
  3. a place fostering something undesirable: a nest of thievery
  4. a cosy or secluded place
  5. a set of things, usually of graduated sizes, designed to fit together: a nest of tables
  1. (intransitive) to make or inhabit a nest
  2. (intransitive) to hunt for birds' nests
  3. (transitive) to place in a nest
Etymology: Old English; related to Latin nīdus (nest) and to beneath, sit

'nest' also found in these entries:

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