\ 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

Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy While two films in this category — Green Book and Vice – received multiple Golden Globe nods this year, some say that The Favourite actually has a better shot at winning. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "See if Your 2019 Golden Globe Predictions Match Up With the Projected Winners," 5 Jan. 2019 Disney introduced Moses to a moving, standing, head-nodding robot Lincoln. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "The Robot Presidents Who Rule Disney World," 19 Dec. 2017 The effect is something of a gale force, sweeping you along and compelling you to nod your head, without a lot of time to wonder what’s been left off the screen. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "In Fahrenheit 11/9, Michael Moore spares no one — especially self-satisfied liberals," 7 Sep. 2018 Look at the play,’’ Toldeo implored, nodding his head toward the phone. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Inside the referees’ locker room: Hearing directly from officiating crew about Saturday’s controversial red card on Sounders defender Chad Marshall," 4 Sep. 2018 After a no frills, bars-heavy opening set by G.O.O.D. Music wordsmith CyHi the Prynce that had the crowd nodding their heads and singing along with mixtape cuts, Big K.R.I.T. took the stage. William E. Ketchum Iii, Billboard, "Big K.R.I.T. Exudes Hip-Hop Royalty at NYC's Irving Plaza for Heavy Is the Crown Tour," 24 Mar. 2018 So, if Obama had said that or George W. Bush, for that matter, pretty much everyone would nod in agreement. Fox News, "Ann Coulter on left's meltdown over Kavanaugh allegation; will Carter Page finally learn why the FBI spied on him?," 19 Sep. 2018 Anyone caught in the New York rain over the last few days surely nodded in recognition. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Dripping Wet Hair and No-Makeup Makeup Just Set a New Bar for Clean Beauty at Calvin Klein," 12 Sep. 2018 Tottenham midfielder Alli nodded in only England's third goal from open play of this World Cup so far just before the hour mark, having struggled with injury earlier in the tournament. Afp,, "Kane: England reaching World Cup semifinals 'probably not sunk in'," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Behind the seawall, which opened in 1936, the city paved a four-lane road and named it Alaskan Way as a nod to Alaska’s importance to Seattle’s economic development. Michelle Baruchman, The Seattle Times, "A look back at the Alaskan Way Viaduct as its demise — and the new Highway 99 tunnel — draw near," 7 Jan. 2019 The show at Krull will feature an array of everyday objects that reference the artist’s own life: paper dresses that serve as a nod to an uncle’s downtown L.A. dress shop and jackets that refer to her lesbian and feminist heroes. Carolina A. Miranda,, "Datebook: Shots of old Route 66, dreamlike paintings and garments fashioned from paper," 12 July 2018 Wearing a bright fuchsia shirt as a nod to her products, Kahn explained both the challenges and opportunities for her startup. Greg Trotter,, "At lemonade startup Poppilu, food industry veteran hopes to inspire her kids," 9 July 2018 As a nod to Thompson’s Scottish heritage, his mother made hats for all four of Brown’s mothers, while the groom and Brown’s father Kody both father wore kilts. Natalie Stone,, "Sister Wives' Aspyn Brown and Mitch Thompson Honeymoon in Europe — See the Newlyweds' Photos!," 6 July 2018 The reference is far more recent, perhaps as recently as early 2017, and comes from Villanova head coach Jay Wright, who jokingly coined it as a nod to his Delaware legacy. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Where did DiVincenzo's 'Michael Jordan of Delaware' nickname come from?," 22 June 2018 When Melania wore a soft blue slim-cut dress and jacket to her husband’s inauguration, it was seen as a nod to Jackie Kennedy’s style and an acknowledgment of the dignity required of her new position on the world stage. Christopher Muther,, "There are no accidents in Melania Trump’s wardrobe choices," 22 June 2018 Like her work with the Royal Variety Charity, the theater meeting was a nod to Meghan's thespian roots. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Wears a Fitted Floral Dress on a Solo Visit to a Nursing Home," 18 Dec. 2018 The ring of shoes pictured at Gryla’s fire toward the end of the episode could be a nod to the Yule Lads of folklore placing goodies into children's’ shoes in the days leading up to Yule/Christmas. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, "10 Details in "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale" You Might Have Missed," 14 Dec. 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

18 Feb 2019

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
somewhat informal : 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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More from Merriam-Webster on nod

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nod

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nod

Spanish Central: Translation of nod

Nglish: Translation of nod for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nod for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nod

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very full or close together

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