nest

noun
\ ˈnest How to pronounce nest (audio) \

Definition of nest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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
2a : a place of rest, retreat, or lodging : home grown children who have left the nest
b : den, hangout
3 : the occupants or frequenters of a nest
4a : a group of similar things a nest of giant mountains— Helen MacInnes
b : hotbed sense 2 a nest of rebellion
5 : a group of objects made to fit close together or one within another
6 : an emplaced group of weapons

nest

verb
nested; nesting; nests

Definition of nest (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to build or occupy a nest : settle in or as if in a nest
2 : to fit compactly together or within one another : embed

transitive verb

1 : to form a nest for
2 : to pack compactly together
3 : to form a hierarchy, series, or sequence of with each member, element, or set contained in or containing the next nested subroutines

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Examples of nest in a Sentence

Noun

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

Verb

Robins nested in the tree. She studied the nesting habits of the turtle. The set of four chairs can nest into one stack. The smaller bowl is designed to nest inside the larger one.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The quake appeared to spook a family of eagles in a nest sitting in a tree on the Channel Islands, KABC reported. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "5.3-magnitude earthquake rattles Southern California, reportedly strongest to hit region in decades," 2 Oct. 2018 Smithsonian magazine reported that unlike many other bird species that leave early in the day to have more time to search for safety, adolescent grassland birds tend to hang out in the nest well into the day. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "Scientists Say "Teen" Birds Staying in Bed and Eating Through the Day Helps Them Survive," 13 Sep. 2018 In 2008, German scientists built a tiny ant motorway, complete with the equivalent of highway interchanges, so that the ants in their laboratory could navigate between their nest and a sugary food source. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "We can learn the secrets of smooth traffic flow by watching fire ants," 20 Aug. 2018 The tablet nests easily into the dock using pogo pins. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "Lenovo builds Amazon Alexa into its Smart Tab M10 and P10 Android tablets," 8 Jan. 2019 Both men and women at the training were motivated to attend by empty nests, divorce, or spousal death that nearly destroyed their holiday spirit. Ann Votaw, Marie Claire, "I Went to the Harvard of Santa Schools to Become Mrs. Claus," 20 Dec. 2018 The wood, with its tangled undergrowth and hidden German machine gun nests, was the stuff of nightmares. Special To The Oregonian, OregonLive.com, "Memorial Day 2018: Remembering two peace-loving Oregon boys who died in France," 28 May 2018 Limited contact Untreated foragers ended up with much higher pathogen loads than the queen and the young nurses, sequestered away in their nest. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Sick ants stay away from the kids," 26 Nov. 2018 This month, pay extra close attention to your nest. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What October's Leo Horoscope Means for You," 30 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Because the Shed would have to nest into the building, Doctoroff persuaded Diller Scofidio + Renfro to design the tower, a coup for Related, as the architects had not done residential developments in the past. Chloe Malle, Town & Country, "Is the Shed the Defining Arts Institution of a New New York City?," 14 Mar. 2019 Photographers flock to the island for pictures of the puffins, who nest there each year. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Photographers on Skomer Island are crushing puffins to death while trying to take pictures, wardens say," 31 July 2018 The islanders were skilled climbers; their lives depended on it since the meat and eggs of seabirds were their main source of protein, and the birds nested and laid their eggs on precipitous and dangerous terrain. Neel Mukherjee, New York Times, "A Veritable No Man’s Land, Off the Coast of Scotland," 7 May 2018 Overcrowding may block some dishes from the water and detergent, and plates and silverware shouldn't nest close together. The Good Housekeeping Institute, Good Housekeeping, "8 Annoying Dishwasher Problems — Solved!," 28 Jan. 2015 Birds that nest on or near the ground, like the house wren, push their young to leave early. National Geographic, "Birds That Leave Nest Too Late Can Endanger Their Families," 25 June 2018 Known for its cobalt-blue beak and wings, coffee-brown body and soulful round eyes, the tree-nesting flyer died off in the wild in the late 1980s, victimized by a species of invasive snakes. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "This Royally Adorable Baby Kingfisher Perpetuates a Species Extinct in the Wild," 1 June 2018 The little ones, nesting in tree cavities, move around as the weather warms. Robert Allen, Detroit Free Press, "Baby owl season: Tiny owl appeared next to a coffee table in a Ferndale home," 3 May 2018 Western bluebirds, in contrast, nested at sites along the full noise gradient. Amy Mathews Amos, Scientific American, "Oil- and Gas-Drilling Noise Stresses Birds," 1 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nest.' 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 nest

Noun

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

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for nest

Noun

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German nest nest, Latin nidus

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Learn More about nest

Dictionary Entries near nest

Nessler tube

Ness, Loch

Nessus

nest

nestable

nestage

nest box

Statistics for nest

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nest

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

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More Definitions for nest

nest

noun

English Language Learners Definition of nest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

nest

verb

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

: to build or live in a nest
: to fit inside each other

nest

noun
\ ˈnest How to pronounce nest (audio) \

Kids Definition of nest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a shelter made by an animal and especially a bird for its eggs and young
2 : a place where some animals live and usually lay eggs a termite's nest
3 : a cozy place : home
4 : those living in a nest a nest of robins

nest

verb
nested; nesting

Kids Definition of nest (Entry 2 of 2)

: to build or live in a nest nesting birds

nest

noun
\ ˈnest How to pronounce nest (audio) \

Medical Definition of nest

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on nest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nest

Spanish Central: Translation of nest

Nglish: Translation of nest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nest for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about nest

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