1

nick

noun \ ˈnik \
|Updated on: 21 Aug 2018

Definition of nick

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 slang, British : 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 : condition
  • in good nick

Examples of nick in a Sentence

  1. There are a couple of nicks on the painting.

  2. His face was covered with nicks and cuts after shaving.

  3. She spent a night in the nick.

  4. an economy in bad nick

Recent Examples of nick from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of nick

Middle English nyke, probably alteration of nocke nock

nick Synonyms

Related Words

groove, score, undercut;

slit, slot;


2

nick

verb

Definition of nick

nicked; nicking; nicks
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 output
  • Time
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 slang, British : 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 slang, British : steal
  • To discover at the last moment that 24 cases of Schweppes had been nicked from the cellar was a horrible shock.
  • Sunday Times
1 : to make petty attacks : snipe
2 : to complement one another genetically and produce superior offspring

Examples of nick in a Sentence

  1. He was nicked on the shoulder by a bullet.

  2. She was nicked for the theft.

  3. I nicked a couple of cars when I was younger.

Recent Examples of nick from the Web

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

First Known Use of nick

15th century

in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

See Words from the same year
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NICK Defined for English Language Learners

nick

Definition of nick for English Language Learners

  • : a small broken area that appears on something after something else hits or cuts it

  • : a small cut on your skin

  • the nick : a prison or police station


nick

Definition of nick for English Language Learners

  • : to cut or damage a small part of the surface of (something) : to put a nick in (something)

  • : to make a small cut on (someone)

  • : to catch and arrest (someone)


NICK Defined for Kids

1

nick

noun \ ˈnik \

Definition of nick for Students

1 : a small cut or chip in a surface
2 : the last moment
  • We arrived at the dock in the nick of time.

2

nick

verb

Definition of nick for Students

nicked; nicking
: to make a small cut or chip in

Medical Dictionary

1

nick

noun \ ˈnik \

medical Definition of nick

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

2

nick

transitive verb

medical Definition of nick

: to produce a nick in (DNA)
  • circular DNA that has been nicked and closed


Seen and Heard

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