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nail

3 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Nail \Nail\ (n[=a]l), noun [AS. naegel, akin to D. nagel, OS. & OHG. nagal, G. nagel, Icel. nagl, nail (in sense 1), nagli nail (in sense 3), Sw. nagel nail (in senses 1 and 3), Dan. nagle, Goth. ganagljan to nail, Lith. nagas nail (in sense 1), Russ. nogote, L. unguis, Gr. "o'nyx, Skr. nakha. [root]259.]

1. (Anat.) the horny scale of plate of epidermis at the end of the fingers and toes of man and many apes.

His nayles like a briddes claws were. --Chaucer.

Note: The nails are strictly homologous with hoofs and claws. When compressed, curved, and pointed, they are called {talons} or {claws}, and the animal bearing them is said to be unguiculate; when they incase the extremities of the digits they are called hoofs, and the animal is ungulate.

2. (Zool.) (a) The basal thickened portion of the anterior wings of certain hemiptera. (b) The terminal horny plate on the beak of ducks, and other allied birds.

3. A slender, pointed piece of metal, usually with a head[2], used for fastening pieces of wood or other material together, by being driven into or through them.

Note: The different sorts of nails are named either from the use to which they are applied, from their shape, from their size, or from some other characteristic, as shingle, floor, ship-carpenters', and horseshoe nails, roseheads, diamonds, fourpenny, tenpenny (see {Penny}, a.), chiselpointed, cut, wrought, or wire nails, etc.

4. A measure of length, being two inches and a quarter, or the sixteenth of a yard.

{Nail ball} (Ordnance), a round projectile with an iron bolt protruding to prevent it from turning in the gun.

{Nail plate}, iron in plates from which cut nails are made.

{On the nail}, in hand; on the spot; immediately; without delay or time of credit; as, to pay money on the nail; to pay cash on the nail. "You shall have ten thousand pounds on the nail." --Beaconsfield.

{To hit the nail on the head}, (a) to hit most effectively; to do or say a thing in the right way. (b) to describe the most important factor. [1913 Webster +PJC]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Nail \Nail\, verb (used with an object) [imp. & p. p. {Nailed} (n[=a]ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Nailing}.] [AS. naeglian. See {Nail}, noun]

1. To fasten with a nail or nails; to close up or secure by means of nails; as, to nail boards to the beams.

He is now dead, and nailed in his chest. --Chaucer.

2. To stud or boss with nails, or as with nails.

The rivets of your arms were nailed with gold. --Dryden.

3. To fasten, as with a nail; to bind or hold, as to a bargain or to acquiescence in an argument or assertion; hence, to catch; to trap.

When they came to talk of places in town, you saw at once how I nailed them. --Goldsmith.

4. To spike, as a cannon. [Obs.] --Crabb.

{To nail an assertion} or {To nail a lie}, etc., to detect and expose it, so as to put a stop to its currency; -- an expression probably derived from the former practice of shopkeepers, who were accustomed to nail bad or counterfeit pieces of money to the counter.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

nail

noun

1: horny plate covering and protecting part of the dorsal surface of the digits

2: a thin pointed piece of metal that is hammered into materials as a fastener

3: a former unit of length for cloth equal to 1/16 of a yard

verb

1: attach something somewhere by means of nails; "nail the board onto the wall"

2: take into custody; "the police nabbed the suspected criminals" [syn: {collar}, {nail}, {apprehend}, {arrest}, {pick up}, {nab}, {cop}]

3: hit hard; "He smashed a 3-run homer" [syn: {smash}, {nail}, {boom}, {blast}]

4: succeed in obtaining a position; "He nailed down a spot at Harvard" [syn: {nail down}, {nail}, {peg}]

5: succeed at easily; "She sailed through her exams"; "You will pass with flying colors"; "She nailed her astrophysics course" [syn: {breeze through}, {ace}, {pass with flying colors}, {sweep through}, {sail through}, {nail}]

6: locate exactly; "can you pinpoint the position of the enemy?"; "The chemists could not nail the identity of the chromosome" [syn: {pinpoint}, {nail}]

7: complete a pass [syn: {complete}, {nail}]

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Definitions retrieved from the Open Source DICT English and WordNet 3.0 dictionaries. Click here for database copyright information.

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