nick

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: a small notch, groove, or chip
For one thing, formal chairs, beds and tables require greater vigilance on the part of the owners to protect against nicks and spills.Sarah Collins
b
: a small cut or wound
got a few nicks from shaving
c
: a break in one strand of two-stranded DNA caused by a missing phosphodiester bond
2
: a final critical moment
in the nick of time
3
British, informal : prison
also : police station
… he said to me, "And how was it in the nick? Did they beat you in there at all?" Colin MacInnes
4
British, informal : condition
in good nick

nick

2 of 2

verb

nicked; nicking; nicks

transitive verb

1
: to jot down : record
2
a
: to make a nick in : notch, chip
… her favorite haunts are … department stores where she scores deep discounts on nicked furniture sold off the floor.Heather Lobdell
b
: to cut into or wound slightly
nicked himself shaving
I didn't have time to get my glove up, and the ball nicked my ear as it went past me.Steve Wulf
3
: to cut short
cold weather, which nicked steel and automobile outputTime
4
: to catch at the right point or time
5
: cheat, overcharge
"A cry of anguish ascended to high heavens," reported Business Week in 1933, "when millions of white-collar workers discovered that they had been nicked for a considerable percentage of their earnings when J. P. Morgan and partners had paid no income tax at all."Cynthia Crossen
6
a
British slang : arrest
The new owner, my brother, had installed all the window grilles and had them wired on a direct alarm to the police station so that if anyone tried to enter that way they would be nicked.Dick Francis
b
British slang : steal
To discover at the last moment that 24 cases of Schweppes had been nicked from the cellar was a horrible shock.Sunday Times

intransitive verb

1
: to make petty attacks : snipe
2
: to complement one another genetically and produce superior offspring

Examples of nick in a Sentence

Noun There are a couple of nicks on the painting. His face was covered with nicks and cuts after shaving. She spent a night in the nick. an economy in bad nick Verb He was nicked on the shoulder by a bullet. She was nicked for the theft. I nicked a couple of cars when I was younger.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
It’s designed to deliver an incredibly close shave without any nicks or cuts. Olivia Cigliano, WWD, 26 June 2024 Meanwhile, the portion of the toll revenue directed to public transit has helped put the Underground and the vast London bus network in very good nick, indeed. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, 24 June 2024
Verb
Discard disposable razors after four or five uses: Dull blades may nick the skin and can be dangerous. Jennifer O'Donnell, Parents, 2 July 2024 When Boston nicked the Heat 94-90 in Game 5, the speculation started about what would happen to the Heat after the Celtics ended the series in Game 6. David J. Neal, Miami Herald, 24 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for nick 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nick.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English nyke, probably alteration of nocke nock

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of nick was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near nick

Cite this Entry

“Nick.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nick. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

nick

1 of 2 noun
1
: a small groove : notch
2
: chip entry 1 sense 4
a nick in a cup
3
: the last moment at which the result of an event can be changed
arrived in the nick of time

nick

2 of 2 verb
1
: to make a nick in
2
: to wound or cut slightly
nicked himself shaving

Medical Definition

nick

1 of 2 noun
: a break in one strand of two-stranded DNA caused by a missing phosphodiester bond

nick

2 of 2 transitive verb
: to produce a nick in (DNA)
circular DNA that has been nicked and closed

More from Merriam-Webster on nick

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