\ 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 Majestic trusses and vaulted skylights nod to the elegant traceries in Penn Station’s original concourse. New York Times, "Let There Be Light, and Art, in the Moynihan Train Hall," 30 Dec. 2020 The former especially has been a major part of the winter festival in the past, with decorations that nod to holiday themes and the home's history as the Lilly family's residence. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, "Newfields Winterlights 2020: 5 things you need to know before you go," 26 Nov. 2020 Skylight's 'Being Earnest' Paul Gordon and Jay Gruska's musical adaptation sweeps Oscar Wilde's classic comedy off to 1960s London, with a suitably groovy score, including songs that nod to the Beatles, Spanky and Our Gang and other period music. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New shows online: Skylight escapes to London, First Stage seeks 'Treasure' in Milwaukee," 19 Oct. 2020 López-Quesada is the kind of designer who can nod to British clubhouses, French country homes, and Park Avenue apartments within a single space, weaving it all together into an effortlessly chic atmosphere. Paola Singer, ELLE Decor, "This Is the Madrid Apartment Where Ava Gardner Once Lived," 14 Oct. 2020 Delroy Lindo is poised to get his best actor nod as the President Trump-supporting member of a band of Black veterans who return to Southeast Asia to retrieve their squad leader's remains and a trove of gold bars. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "10 movies you need to see before the most unpredictable Oscar season ever," 14 Dec. 2020 As co-owner and beverage director, Milic curated the wine list that earned the restaurant a James Beard Award semifinalist nod for the category of Outstanding Wine Program in 2017. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, "4 questions answered about kosher wine and where to find it for Hanukkah in metro Phoenix," 8 Dec. 2020 Earlier that year, McCollum earned a spring drills offensive most valuable player nod from Fisher before hurting his back in the summer of 2019. Brent Zwerneman,, "Veteran offensive line has had a big hand in A&M’s 5-1 start," 25 Nov. 2020 Its stylized forms, bold use of color and nod to film noir all represent a beautifully impactful period in history. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's iconic steakhouses bring 'A-game' to service during new normal of pandemic," 3 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The committee gave Notre Dame the nod based on earlier wins over Clemson (minus Trevor Lawrence) and North Carolina. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "College Football Playoff rankings: Texas A&M left out of CFP’s final four," 20 Dec. 2020 Covid-19 vaccinations are set to start today in the US after the CDC gave the final nod to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine over the weekend. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for December 14: Covid-19, transition, economy, Brexit, Nigeria," 14 Dec. 2020 As the vaccine doses made their way to hospitals Sunday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield gave the final nod, approving the decision to recommend Pfizer's vaccine for people 16 and older. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, "Nation's first vaccine doses shipped out," 14 Dec. 2020 The new mayor has spoken often about being exposed to violence at an early age as police and drug dealers squared off in his neighborhood, and his inaugural remarks gave a nod to the streets where he was raised. Ben Leonard,, "Brandon Scott sworn in as Baltimore mayor, addresses ‘public health emergencies’ of COVID-19 and gun violence," 8 Dec. 2020 McConnell gave a nod toward what's ahead after GOP senators met Tuesday by conference call, forced to abandon their traditional sit-down lunches as the COVID-19 crisis surges and threatens to further disrupt the Capitol. Lisa Mascaro, Star Tribune, "GOP objects to Biden nominees, a sign of what's to come," 1 Dec. 2020 The show gave another nod to Turkey Day: Following the challengers' performances, additional clues arrived with a golden turkey that appeared to be cooked to perfection. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "‘The Masked Singer’: Mushroom nearly sent home in shocking smackdown during Group C Finals," 27 Nov. 2020 House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, gave tuition a nod in his speech during last week’s session, suggesting students should pay less for courses that will help train them for fields deemed high-demand. Annie Martin,, "Florida university tuition could increase for the first time since 2013, as state budget shortfall looms," 27 Nov. 2020 Earlier this month the Food and Drug Administration gave a similar nod to a new therapy developed since the pandemic began. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, "'An incredible sense of urgency': How Lilly developed 2 COVID drugs — and counting," 26 Nov. 2020

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

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nod.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of nod for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nod for Arabic Speakers

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