wing nut


variants or wingnut
plural wing nuts or wingnuts
usually wing nut : a nut with wings that provide a grip for the thumb and finger
The wing nut on the handle is tightened to secure the blade in the measured position.The Home Tool Kit
slang : a mentally unsound person
Ever since his mesmerizing performance as a psychotic cop killer in 1979's The Onion Field, Woods has possessed the image of a driven, angry, over-the-edge wing nut.Susan Schindehette et al.
slang : one who advocates extreme measures or changes (as in politics)
Many on Cheney's staff see Bush's aides as too liberal, while some Bush aides view the vice-presidential staff as wing nuts.Nancy Gibbs and Mike Allen
Russia proved highly susceptible to the lure of what, in current parlance, would be called wingnuts (fanatics on the far left or right).The Economist

Examples of wing nut in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Plus, the wing nut at the handle's base makes changing things up between activities simple. Brittany Vincent, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 Sep. 2023 Flynn would’ve fought it, but the FBI expanded its aperture and went after his son Michael Flynn Jr., who’d become a wing nut on Twitter. Matt Farwell, The New Republic, 30 Nov. 2021

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

Word History

First Known Use

1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of wing nut was in 1834

Dictionary Entries Near wing nut

Cite this Entry

“Wing nut.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

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