n. & v.
n. 1 a a fruit consisting of a hard or tough shell around an edible kernel. b this kernel. 2 a pod containing hard seeds. 3 a small usu. square or hexagonal flat piece of metal or other material with a threaded hole through it for screwing on the end of a bolt to secure it. 4 sl. a person's head. 5 sl. a a crazy or eccentric person. b an obsessive enthusiast or devotee (a health-food nut). 6 a small lump of coal, butter, etc. 7 a a device fitted to the bow of a violin for adjusting its tension. b the fixed ridge on the neck of a stringed instrument over which the strings pass. 8 (in pl.) coarse sl. the testicles.
v.intr. (nutted, nutting) seek or gather nuts (go nutting). do one's nut sl. be extremely angry or agitated. for nuts colloq. even tolerably well (cannot sing for nuts). nut cutlet a cutlet-shaped portion of meat-substitute, made from nuts etc. nut-house sl. a mental home or hospital. nut-oil an oil obtained from hazelnuts and walnuts and used in paints and varnishes. nuts and bolts colloq. the practical details. nut-tree any tree bearing nuts, esp. a hazel. off one's nut sl. crazy. nutlike adj.
[ OE hnutu f. Gmc ]