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 downnail 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 As of May 11, restaurants and bars were allowed to serve customers on site, gyms and athletic facilities, hair and nail salons and barber shops were allowed to open. Jay Croft, Gregory Lemos And Theresa Waldrop, CNN, "Southern states could get hit by spike in Covid-19 cases, study predicts," 22 May 2020 Under Newsom’s plan, religious and cultural ceremonies won’t be allowed to resume until the third stage of the state’s reopening plan, along with entertainment venues, fitness studios and hair and nail salons. Dustin Gardiner, SFChronicle.com, "Justice Department and California pastors call for Newsom to allow churches to reopen," 20 May 2020 Ohio allowed hair and nail salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, spas and outdoor dining to open on Friday. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio plan to reopen gym, salons, stores; Cincinnati bars; Red River Gorge; vaccine," 18 May 2020 That means restaurants, gyms, theaters, hair and nail salons, barbershops and many other facilities must remain closed, though restaurant carryout and delivery service is allowed. Tresa Baldas, Freep.com, "Age of Resistance: How a virus riled up Michigan and spawned a rebellion," 17 May 2020 Other places that can reopen are hair and nail salons, museums and drive-in theaters. NBC News, "Sailors on sidelined USS Theodore Roosevelt get virus for second time," 15 May 2020 Within the resort, Loma de Vida Spa & Wellness will open June 1 for hair and nail appointments only. Madison Iszler, ExpressNews.com, "La Cantera Resort & Spa to reopen June 3," 15 May 2020 Personal services, including hair and nail salons, and in-person dining inside restaurants is not open yet. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "Here's what you should know about Indianapolis' plan to begin reopening," 13 May 2020 Newsom said businesses and venues in a higher risk category, Phase 3 — like hair and nail salons, gyms, movie theaters, churches and weddings — could see a reopening in the coming months. Sean Greene, Los Angeles Times, "Most California counties fall short of reopening criteria as coronavirus cases climb," 8 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But so was the dialogue, and this is where Cerda really nails it. Nina Metz, chicagotribune.com, "Campy 'Golden Girls' spoof misses the mark," 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, "Angela Zedak, Marist look ahead after losing in Class 4A third-place game," 10 June 2017 And making sure Johnson nailed all those backing vocals. Matt Wake, AL.com, "Aerosmith's secret weapon: Alabama native on tour with rock legends," 9 June 2017 Some houses had bathtubs, mirrors, furniture, crosses nailed to the wall. Washington Post, "Blighted Baltimore homes are razed, along with some memories," 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, "In an area bloated with festivals, Sasquatch! still stands out," 24 May 2017 Why does Apple nail what channel the Cavs game is on but Google does not? Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "20 Questions With Google's Assistant and Apple's Siri," 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, "How Shell, Eni Got Enmeshed in $1 Billion Scandal: QuickTake Q&A," 9 May 2017 How could anyone nail both the keys and the rhythms with perfect accuracy? David Pogue, Scientific American, "Should Artists Reveal How Much They Let Technology Make Creative Choices?," 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

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nail.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nail. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for nail

nail

noun
How to pronounce nail (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on nail

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nail

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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