\ ˈnəts How to pronounce nuts (audio) \

Definition of nuts

1 informal : enthusiastic, keen nuts for animals and children— Rick Reilly
2 informal : insane, crazy said that it was a novel and all the people who said otherwise were nuts— Flannery O'Connor

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Synonyms & Antonyms for nuts



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The informal adjective nuts dates to the early 1900s but developed from an earlier 17th-century slang meaning often found in phrases like "nuts to me" and "nuts for me," where it referred to a source of delight, as in this quote from English satirist Jonathan Swift's A Journal to Stella (1766): "Why, we had not one word of quarrel; only he railed at me when I was gone: and Lord Keeper and Treasurer teased me for a week. It was nuts to them; a serious thing with a vengeance." The use likely had something to do with the taste of the dry fruit or seed since early figurative examples of the noun include the expression "nuts and cheese." Adjectival use, typically describing enthusiasm about or fondness for someone or something came about in the late 18th century. In Britain, the term was often used in the phrase "dead nuts on," as "She is dead nuts on the boy next door." The notion that enthusiasm and infatuation often lead to obsession may have played a role in the early 20th-century senses of nuts denoting extreme devotion, as in "nuts about baseball," and functioning as a synonym of "insane."

Examples of nuts in a Sentence

They looked at me like I was nuts. the bizarre rantings in the notes left behind by the serial killer convinced the police that the guy was nuts
Recent Examples on the Web These two chopped and slapped the hell out of each other early in this match, and the crowd went nuts for it. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 And almost all plant foods (which include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts) contain a combination of both soluble and insoluble fiber, according to the FDA. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, 31 Mar. 2022 But other times paying almost 20 bucks for some pizzazz between a few tortillas – as deftly executed as that pizzazz can be – seems nuts. Matt Wake |, al, 24 Mar. 2022 Still, Summers’s prediction that we’re headed for stagflation does seem pretty nuts. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 16 Mar. 2022 Since then, archaeologists have gone nuts studying it, even creating a virtual reality diving experience to commemorate its 360th birthday. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 10 Mar. 2022 Women went nuts and might have stormed The King if not for the 24 security guards who ringed the stage. Mike Klingaman,, 3 Mar. 2022 Fans at Little Caesars Arena went nuts as Filip Hronek, Carter Rowney, Joe Veleno and Michael Rasmussen scored over a 5:21 span in the third period. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 27 Feb. 2022 During Saturday's third round, Ryder, coming off a birdie at the par-5 15th, made an ace in front of the rowdy, heavily lubricated, coliseum fans and the place went nuts. Golfweek, USA TODAY, 13 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nuts.' 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 nuts

1785, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries Near nuts

nut rush


nuts and bolts

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Statistics for nuts

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nuts.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for nuts


\ ˈnəts How to pronounce nuts (audio) \

Kids Definition of nuts

1 : enthusiastic about or interested in something She was nuts about horror movies.
2 : crazy sense 1 All this noise is going to make me nuts.

More from Merriam-Webster on nuts

Nglish: Translation of nuts for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nuts for Arabic Speakers


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