\ ˈnäd How to pronounce nod (audio) \
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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There’s often nods back to the prototype, the succubus that is Faye Dunaway’s Diana Christensen in groundbreaking 1976 satire Network. Katie Hasty,, "Clint Eastwood only hurt himself with Richard Jewell’s worst cliché," 17 Dec. 2019 And those of us parents nod a painful and knowing nod—been there, done that. Nat Kendall-taylor, Quartz, "The hardest part of being a parent has nothing to do with raising kids," 6 Dec. 2019 All this had been nodded through by members in June—including Italy, which, with its huge public debt and sluggish economy, looks the most likely customer for a future bail-out. The Economist, "Splits in Italy threaten to derail euro-zone reforms," 5 Dec. 2019 The team added a third goal barely 10 minutes later when Aaron Long nodded a header in off a free kick. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "USMNT earns 4-1 revenge win over Canada in Nations League match," 16 Nov. 2019 Petersen did not speak, but nodded when Williams spoke of the stigmatization. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Indicted County Assessor Paul Petersen makes first Utah court appearance," 15 Nov. 2019 The boy twisted around to look at his mother, who nodded several times at him as he was taken back into custody. Fox News, "Chicago boy, 15, charged with attempted murder in shooting of trick-or-treating 7-year-old girl," 3 Nov. 2019 Plant these natives to make an interesting meadow: purple three awn (Aristida purpurea), nodding needle grass (Stipa cernua), deer grass (Muhlenbergia rigens) and wild oat grass (Elymus condensatus) 15. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "29 garden chores for October," 2 Oct. 2019 But this isn’t corduroy-wearing, head-nodding, polite jazz. National Geographic, "Hear the 10 essential sounds of America," 23 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His 2002 film Punch-Drunk Love — Sandler’s first venture into an artsier territory, playing the melancholic, off-kilter Barry Egan — knowingly riffs on Sandler-movie tropes, even including a sly nod to Billy Madison’s love of pudding. Tyler Aquilina,, "Adam Sandler’s classic comedies prove he’s a great dramatic actor: Opinion," 29 Dec. 2019 With a nod to the holiday season, here are the players who have been exceptionally nice or naughty to their fantasy owners this year. Tony Holm, USA TODAY, "Who's been naughty, nice to fantasy football owners in 2019?," 24 Dec. 2019 Essen on Main is now open and dishing out breakfast and lunch with a nod to European cuisines. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "New Royal Oak restaurant Essen on Main offers European cuisine," 17 Dec. 2019 While the law includes a nod to their concerns — the migrants are not allowed to settle in certain areas designated for indigenous people — protesters said the measure was still intolerable., "NEW DELHI — Protests broke out for a third day in northeastern India over the country’s new citizenship law, forcing the postponement of an upcoming summit between India and Japan.," 14 Dec. 2019 While the law includes a nod to their concerns — the migrants are not allowed to settle in certain areas designated for indigenous people — protesters said the measure was still intolerable. Washington Post, "India’s new citizenship law sparks anger and unrest," 13 Dec. 2019 The Duchess of Sussex also made sure to include a nod to her roots, featuring the Los Angeles Mission, which helps the homeless in her hometown (and where her mother, Doria Ragland, still resides). Stephanie Petit,, "Meghan Markle Goes Incognito to Volunteer at Toronto Charity in Never-Before-Seen Photo," 9 Dec. 2019 Klobuchar’s own plan includes a nod to former candidate Jay Inslee, borrowing the Washington governor’s idea for a Climate Civilian Conservation Corps to work on environmental projects. NBC News, "With 60 days to go, the Dem race in Iowa is wide open," 5 Dec. 2019 Her campaign launch on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday included a nod to Shirley Chisholm, the New York congresswoman who sought the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination 47 years ago earlier. Nicholas Riccardi, The Denver Post, "Kamala Harris ends White House bid, citing lack of funding," 3 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for nod

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for nod

Last Updated

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nod.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for nod


How to pronounce nod (audio)

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 How to pronounce nod (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nod

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nod

Spanish Central: Translation of nod

Nglish: Translation of nod for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nod for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nod

What made you want to look up nod? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

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