1

nail

noun \ ˈnāl \
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

Definition of nail

1 a :a horny sheath protecting the upper end of each finger and toe of humans and most other primates
b :a structure (such as a claw) that terminates a digit and corresponds to a nail
2 :a slender usually pointed and headed fastener designed to be pounded in

Examples of nail in a Sentence

  1. a hammer and some nails

  2. I get my nails done at the beauty salon every other week.

  3. a pair of nail clippers

Recent Examples of nail from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of nail

Middle English, from Old English nægl; akin to Old High German nagal nail, fingernail, Latin unguis fingernail, toenail, claw, Greek onyx

Other Hardware Terms


2

nail

verb

Definition of nail

transitive verb
1 :to fasten with or as if with a nail
2 :to fix in steady attention
  • nailed his eye on the crack
3 a :catch, trap
b :to expose usually so as to discredit
c :to arrest or punish for an offense
4 a :to hit or strike in a forceful manner :whack 1a
  • nailed the ball
  • nailed him on the head with a rock
b :to put out (a runner) in baseball
5 :to perform or complete perfectly or impressively
  • nailed a jump shot
6 :to gain or win decisively often used with down
  • nail down their consent
7 :to settle, establish, or represent clearly and unmistakably often used with down
8 usually vulgar :to copulate with

nailer

noun

Examples of nail in a Sentence

  1. Nail the picture to the wall.

  2. All the doors were nailed shut.

  3. He got nailed by his parents while trying to sneak out of the house.

  4. He got nailed for not paying his taxes.

  5. The FBI has nailed the hackers.

Recent Examples of nail from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Other Building Terms



NAIL Defined for English Language Learners

nail

noun

Definition of nail for English Language Learners

  • : a long, thin piece of metal that is sharp at one end and flat at the other end and that is used chiefly to attach things to wood

  • : the hard covering at the end of a finger or toe : a fingernail or toenail


nail

verb

Definition of nail for English Language Learners

  • : to attach (something) with a nail

  • : to catch (someone) doing something illegal or wrong

  • : to arrest or punish (someone) for doing something that is illegal or wrong


NAIL Defined for Kids

1

nail

noun \ ˈnāl \

Definition of nail for Students

1 :a tough covering protecting the upper end of each finger and toe
2 :a slender pointed piece of metal driven into or through something for fastening

2

nail

verb

Definition of nail for Students

nailed; nailing
:to fasten with or as if with a nail

Medical Dictionary

nail

noun \ ˈnā(ə)l \

medical Definition of nail

1 :a horny sheath of thickened and condensed epithelial stratum lucidum that grows out from a vascular matrix of dermis and protects the upper surface of the end of each finger and toe of humans and most other primates and that is strictly homologous with the hoof or claw of other mammals from which it differs chiefly in shape and size called also nail plate
2 :a structure (as a claw) that terminates a digit and corresponds to a nail
3 :a rod (as of metal) used to fix the parts of a broken bone in normal relation
  • a medullary nail


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