\ˈnäd \
nodded; nodding

Definition of nod 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a quick downward motion of the head whether deliberately (as in expressing assent or salutation) or involuntarily (as from drowsiness) She nodded in agreement. The guard nodded to us as we walked in. He sat nodding by the fire.

2 : to incline or sway from the vertical as though ready to fall signposts nodding in the wind

3 : to bend or sway the upper part gently downward or forward : bob gently the plumes that nodded on his helmet nodding flowers on long stems

4 : to make a slip or error in a moment of abstraction … Fuentes nods, and his language then falls into … an overly learned mumbo-jumbo that stops the drama of his action.— Robert Maurer

transitive verb

1 : to incline downward or forward nodded his head in agreement

2 : to bring, invite, or send by a nod nodded us in

3 : to signify by a nod nodded their approval



Definition of nod (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of nodding gave a nod of greeting

2 : an indication especially of approval or recognition

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Other Words from nod


nodder noun

Synonyms for nod

Synonyms: Verb

bob, bobble, jog, jounce, pump, seesaw, wag

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Examples of nod in a Sentence


She nodded when I asked her if she was ready. I asked her if she could hear me, and she nodded her head. “The bathroom is around the corner,” he said, nodding to the left. She nodded toward the dirty dishes and said she would get to them later.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The injured man was able to communicate with a tablet and by shaking or nodding his head. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "Man charged with killing a woman and beating a man in the face with a brick," 12 July 2018 Sheriff Rowles, who is white, said plainly, nodding his head to emphasize this truth was not negotiable. New York Times, "In Texas, a Decades-Old Hate Crime, Forgiven but Never Forgotten," 9 July 2018 Officers observing the exercise nodded their heads in agreement. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco cops go back to school to better understand teens," 6 June 2018 By using GIFs, the robot can easily communicate with humans in recognizable emotional language—showing us a sleepy kitten falling over or Snoop Dogg knowingly nodding his head. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "This Adorable DIY Robot Responds to Commands With GIFs," 9 Dec. 2016 Skatepark architecture studio, Constructo, designed the park to play off of its surroundings with geometric forms that nod to the shape of the Vauban Fortress. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Luxembourg skatepark design nods to 17th-century fortress nearby," 13 June 2018 The scans also show Picasso nodding to Greco-Roman classical style. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "High-Tech Scanning Shows Picasso’s Blue Period Evolution," 11 June 2018 Morton nodded, briefly sat alone with his thoughts and then got up to fist-bump Kemp. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Astros pick up messy win over Rangers, clinch series," 10 June 2018 Pickett, despite witnessing the horror, feels as if Luke really ties the whole ennead together: Johnson nods to episode five, The Empire Strikes Back (1980), in which the wizened Yoda (Frank Oz) agrees to train Luke. Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader, "Archive Dive / Arts / Film May the fourth be with you, even if the Reader's critics rarely become one with the force," 4 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ozark, similarly, earned a nod for star Jason Bateman but not for the series as a whole. Hilary Lewis, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmy Nominations Snubs: 'Modern Family,' 'Orange Is the New Black' Shut Out in Major Categories," 12 July 2018 Although the Emmy favorite earned 22 nominations, including best drama series, the show earned no leading actor nods for Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner and Kit Harrington. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Emmy nominations 2018: The most shocking snubs," 12 July 2018 Along with receiving a nomination for his leading role in the live NBC production, Jesus Christ Superstar also snagged a nod for outstanding variety special. Jodi Guglielmi,, "Emmy Nominations: John Legend Could Earn an EGOT with Jesus Christ Superstar Nod," 12 July 2018 Isaiah Campbell got the starting nod for Arkansas’ biggest game of the season, the NCAA Super Regional baseball final against South Carolina. Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "Arkansas was one out away from a title. Now the Razorbacks turn to Olathe's Campbell," 28 June 2018 Corinthians veteran Cassio was given the nod for the No. Avi Creditor,, "Top World Cup Snubs: Stars From Qualified Nations Missing Out on Russia 2018," 5 June 2018 Antetokounmpo was on every ballot and ranked sixth in the overall voting, drawing 28 first-team votes, 71 second-team votes and one nod for the third team. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Giannis Antetokounmpo named to all-NBA second team for second straight season," 24 May 2018 When the Tony nominations get announced the next day, Dumezweni will find out the good news — a ten-nomination sweep for Cursed Child, plus an individual nod for her as best featured actress. Anna Silman, The Cut, "What It Takes to Be Hermione Granger," 17 May 2018 Who will get the nod for Best New Musical, from just seven entrants (including The Band’s Visit and Mean Girls)? Katrina Lenk, Vogue, "The 2018 Tony Nominations Are In," 1 May 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


circa 1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nod


Middle English nodden; perhaps akin to Old High German hnotōn to shake

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Dictionary Entries near nod







nodal slide

Statistics for nod

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nod

The first known use of nod was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for nod



English Language Learners Definition of nod

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move your head up and down as a way of answering “yes” or of showing agreement, understanding, or approval

: to move your head up and down as a signal to someone or as a way of saying hello or goodbye to someone

: to slightly move your head in a specified direction



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

: a movement of your head up and down especially as a way of answering “yes” or of showing agreement, understanding, or approval : an act of nodding

: something done to show that someone or something has been chosen, approved, etc.


\ˈnäd \
nodded; nodding

Kids Definition of nod

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to bend the head up and down one or more times He nodded in agreement.

2 : to move up and down She nodded her head. Daisies nodded in the breeze.

3 : to tip the head in a certain direction He nodded toward the door.

nod off

: to fall asleep



Kids Definition of nod (Entry 2 of 2)

: the action of bending the head up and down

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Comments on nod

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a generally accepted meaning of a word

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