1 of 2


nodded; nodding

intransitive verb

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

: to incline downward or forward
nodded his head in agreement
: to bring, invite, or send by a nod
nodded us in
: to signify by a nod
nodded their approval
nodder noun


2 of 2


: the act or an instance of nodding
gave a nod of greeting
: an indication especially of approval or recognition

Examples of nod in a Sentence

Verb 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.
Recent Examples on the Web
The image shows a chunk of white cake (nodding back to a key plot point in the first film) with the United Kingdom and United States flags on each side as a No. 2 candle sits in the middle. Kelsie Gibson, Peoplemag, 10 May 2024 During the visit, Xi has nodded to traditional European centers of power such as France and the European Union — but also laid heavy emphasis on deepening ties with autocratic allies on the continent’s fringe. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for nod 

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

Word History



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

First Known Use


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


circa 1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near nod

Cite this Entry

“Nod.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
nodded; nodding
: to bend the head downward or forward (as in bowing or going to sleep or as a way of answering "yes")
: to move up and down
the tulips nodded in the breeze
: to show by a nod of the head
nod agreement
: to let one's attention roam for a moment and make an error
nodder noun


2 of 2 noun
: the action of nodding

More from Merriam-Webster on nod

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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