\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

Still others are winking and nodding at it, retweeting #QAnon references while pretending to be none the wiser. Jane Coaston, Vox, "#QAnon, the scarily popular pro-Trump conspiracy theory, explained," 1 Aug. 2018 Yet when aboriginal leaders suggested that any amendment to the constitution should empower, rather than simply nod at aboriginals, the government demurred. The Economist, "Australia’s states offer to make treaties with aboriginals," 5 July 2018 In her video, which would be viewed by 2 million people on Twitter and make news across the United States in coming days, Deady nodded at the supervisor. The Washington Post,, "A barista refused to serve a man for 'being really racist' to a Muslim. Her bosses backed her.," 15 May 2018 Rauner nodded at those dynamics in his rationale for choosing Perl. Dawn Rhodes,, "Gov. Rauner appoints Chicago corporate attorney to U. of I. board of trustees," 15 May 2018 Everyone nodded at the readings from Psalms and Luke. Caille Millner, San Francisco Chronicle, "The spirit of Beyoncé takes hold in a Nob Hill cathedral," 27 Apr. 2018 At that point, the camera pans over to the drama faculty, who nod at each other, acknowledging that Robbie stepped up his performance. Brianna Wiest, Teen Vogue, "“Rise” Sneak Peek Has Auli'i Cravalho and Damon J. Gillespie Impressing Their Teachers," 9 Mar. 2018 In a garden behind a Baton Rouge office park, Cronin, an LSU ecologist, nodded apologetically at a patch of reeds. Jennifer Larino,, "Army Corps starting levee patrols as Mississippi River rises," 26 Feb. 2018 The only significant change to the statement nodded to a recent pullback in business investment from its rapid pace earlier this year. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Fed Holds Rates Steady, Signals More Rate Increases Ahead," 8 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For the 2018 Costume Institute gala at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gordon worked with actor and TV writer Lena Waithe to design a custom silk-faille rainbow cape, a nod to gay pride at the Catholic-themed exhibition and event. Chloe Malle, WSJ, "How Designer Wes Gordon is Reimagining Carolina Herrera for the Next Generation," 6 Dec. 2018 Trump called House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, a conversation that her office said included congratulations and a nod to her pitch for bipartisanship. Catherine Lucey, The Seattle Times, "Despite House loss, Trump still sees midterms success," 7 Nov. 2018 Getty Images Today in non-royal celebrity news, Britney Spears posted a subtle nod to her most famous (and infamous, purely in terms of how the breakup went down) ex, Justin Timberlake, on Instagram. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Britney Spears Did a Literal Backflip to One of Justin Timberlake's Songs," 21 Oct. 2018 The updated outfits combine classical Eastern style—namely the cheongsam, a traditional Chinese dress—with Western aesthetics, a nod to both traditional service and a global future. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Most Stylish Flight Attendant Uniforms," 15 Oct. 2018 The new version's dubbed the G502 HERO, a nod to Logitech's new flagship HERO (High Efficiency Rated Optical) sensor. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Logitech's G502 HERO updates our favorite gaming mouse with even better hardware," 30 Aug. 2018 Around the world, the Ace Hotel chain stocks products from Rudy’s Barbershop, a nod to the company’s Northwestern roots. Tyler Watamanuk, New York Times, "When Did Soap, Once Simple, Get So Complicated?," 11 July 2018 Some ranchers have protested federal ownership and control of lands in the West as federal overreach, and Trump's pardon is a sympathetic nod to those who share that view. NBC News, "Trump pardons father-and-son ranchers who set fires on federal lands," 10 July 2018 The 'best player on the other team' comment came with a laugh as a nod Stephenson's mercurial nature, highlighted by his clashes with LeBron James. Andrew Hussey, Indianapolis Star, "Lance Stephenson responds to Pacers president Kevin Pritchard comment," 6 July 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

9 Dec 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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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

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