nail

noun
\ ˈnāl How to pronounce nail (audio) \

Definition of nail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

nail

verb
nailed; nailing; nails

Definition of nail (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to fasten with or as if with a nail
2 : to fix in steady attention nailed his eye on the crack
3a : catch, trap
b : to expose usually so as to discredit
c : to arrest or punish for an offense
4a : to hit or strike in a forceful manner : whack sense 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

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Other Words from nail

Verb

nailer noun

Examples of nail in a Sentence

Noun a hammer and some nails I get my nails done at the beauty salon every other week. a pair of nail clippers Verb Nail the picture to the wall. All the doors were nailed shut. He got nailed by his parents while trying to sneak out of the house. He got nailed for not paying his taxes. The FBI has nailed the hackers.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After three to four years of being built in the yard, the delivery is the last nail-biting part of the shipyard’s journey. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 14 June 2021 And now season 2 has once again led up to a nail-biting conclusion. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, 11 June 2021 The Times never miss coverage on a dismal Angels loss, but this was a nail-biting at the end, feel good win. Los Angeles Times, 30 May 2021 Around the Champs Elysee, the traffic was indeed nail-biting. Lea Lane, Forbes, 29 May 2021 The hit, paired with an outfield error, allowed two baserunners to score from first and second base as GT won the nail-biting heartbreaker 9-8. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, 28 May 2021 Phil Mickelson won the 2021 PGA Championship on Sunday after a nail-biting final that included two bogeys on the back nine. CBS News, 23 May 2021 It’s Senghore, not Jolie, who has the most nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat action sequence. Angelica Jade Bastién, Vulture, 14 May 2021 But the nail-biting uncertainty: With all of this happening at once, will box offices go nuts, or go bust? Washington Post, 11 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But so was the dialogue, and this is where Cerda really nails it. Nina Metz, chicagotribune.com, 20 June 2017 Marist coach Colleen Biebel also sent Garofalo, who was nailed at home on a perfect relay throw from Barrington shortstop Julia Kozar. Tony Baranek, Daily Southtown, 10 June 2017 And making sure Johnson nailed all those backing vocals. Matt Wake, AL.com, 9 June 2017 Some houses had bathtubs, mirrors, furniture, crosses nailed to the wall. Washington Post, 5 June 2017 By nailing down Chance as the festival’s finale, before even his star-making turn at this year’s Grammy Awards, Sasquatch! grabbed one of this year’s marquee live acts for their youthful audience. Charles R. Cross, The Seattle Times, 24 May 2017 Why does Apple nail what channel the Cavs game is on but Google does not? Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, 18 May 2017 Finally, in 2011, Shell and Eni paid the government $1.3 billion, including about $200 million as a signature bonus -- a onetime fee charged by some oil-producing nations -- to nail down the contract once and for all. Chiara Albanese, Bloomberg.com, 9 May 2017 How could anyone nail both the keys and the rhythms with perfect accuracy? David Pogue, Scientific American, 3 July 2017

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.

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First Known Use of nail

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nail

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for nail

Time Traveler

The first known use of nail was before the 12th century

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Statistics for nail

Last Updated

30 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nail.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nail. Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for nail

nail

noun

English Language Learners Definition of nail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of nail (Entry 2 of 2)

always followed by an adverb, adjective, or preposition : 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

noun
\ ˈnāl How to pronounce nail (audio) \

Kids Definition of nail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

nail

verb
nailed; nailing

Kids Definition of nail (Entry 2 of 2)

: to fasten with or as if with a nail

nail

noun
\ ˈnā(ə)l How to pronounce nail (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on nail

Nglish: Translation of nail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nail for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about nail

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