noun \ˈnest\

: the place where a bird lays its eggs and takes care of its young

: a place where an animal or insect lives and usually lays eggs or takes care of its young

: a home where people live

Full Definition of NEST

a :  a bed or receptacle prepared by an animal and especially a bird for its eggs and young
b :  a place or specially modified structure serving as an abode of animals and especially of their immature stages <an ants' nest>
c :  a receptacle resembling a bird's nest
a :  a place of rest, retreat, or lodging :  home <grown children who have left the nest>
b :  den, hangout
:  the occupants or frequenters of a nest
a :  a group of similar things <a nest of giant mountains — Helen MacInnes>
b :  hotbed 2 <a nest of rebellion>
:  a group of objects made to fit close together or one within another
:  an emplaced group of weapons

Examples of NEST

  1. The bird built a nest out of small twigs.
  2. If you look closely, you can see a nest in that tree.
  3. They lived in a cozy little nest in the suburbs.

Origin of NEST

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German nest nest, Latin nidus
First Known Use: before 12th century



: to build or live in a nest

: to fit inside each other

Full Definition of NEST

intransitive verb
:  to build or occupy a nest :  settle in or as if in a nest
:  to fit compactly together or within one another :  embed
transitive verb
:  to form a nest for
:  to pack compactly together
:  to form a hierarchy, series, or sequence of with each member, element, or set contained in or containing the next <nested subroutines>

Examples of NEST

  1. Robins nested in the tree.
  2. She studied the nesting habits of the turtle.
  3. The set of four chairs can nest into one stack.
  4. The smaller bowl is designed to nest inside the larger one.

First Known Use of NEST

13th century


noun \ˈnest\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of NEST

: an isolated collection or clump of cells in tissue of a different structure <a nest of sarcomatous cells>


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Nest of the American robin.—Jeff Foott/Bruce Coleman Inc.

Structure built by an animal as a permanent home or for bearing and rearing offspring. The social insects build systems of chambers and tunnels, above or below ground. Fishes' nests vary from shallow depressions in sand to enclosed structures constructed of vegetation. Certain frog species build mud-basin nests or floating masses of hardened froth. Alligators use mud and vegetation and cobras use leaves and forest litter to build a nest for their eggs. The most common type of bird nest is a cup-shaped or domed structure of twigs, leaves, mud, and feathers. Many mammals, especially small ones, build nests in trees, on the ground, or in burrows.


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