I. nick 1 /nɪk/ BrE AmE noun
[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Origin: Perhaps from nock 'small cut in the end of a bow for the string to fit in' (14-20 centuries) ]
1 . in the nick of time just before it is too late, or just before something bad happens:
Luckily, help arrived in the nick of time.
2 . in good nick/in bad nick etc British English informal in good condition or in bad condition:
It’s an old car but it’s still in good nick.
3 . [countable] a very small cut made on the edge or surface of something
4 . the nick British English informal a ↑ police station
II. nick 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]
1 . British English informal to steal something SYN pinch , steal :
Someone’s nicked my wallet.
nick something from somebody/something
You nicked those pens from my desk.
2 . to make a small cut in the surface or edge of something, usually by accident:
He nicked his hand on some broken glass.
3 . British English informal if the police nick you, they catch you and charge you with a crime SYN arrest :
• • •
▪ steal to illegally take something that belongs to someone else:
The thieves stole over £10,000 worth of computer equipment.
Thousands of cars get stolen every year.
▪ take to steal something – used when it is clear from the situation that you mean that someone takes something dishonestly:
The boys broke into her house and took all her money.
They didn’t take much – just a few items of jewellery.
▪ burgle British English , burglarize American English [usually passive] to go into someone’s home and steal things, especially when the owners are not there:
Their house was burgled while they were away.
If you leave windows open, you are asking to be burgled.
▪ rob to steal money or other things from a bank, shop, or person:
The gang were convicted of robbing a bank in Essex.
An elderly woman was robbed at gunpoint in her own home.
He’s serving a sentence for robbing a grocery store.
▪ mug to attack someone in the street and steal something from them:
People in this area are frightened of being mugged when they go out.
Someone tried to mug me outside the station.
▪ nick/pinch British English informal to steal something:
Someone’s nicked my wallet!
When I came back, my car had been pinched.
▪ embezzle to steal money from the organization you work for, especially money that you are responsible for:
Government officials embezzled more than $2.5 million from the department.
▪ shoplifting stealing things from a shop by taking them when you think no one is looking:
Shoplifting costs stores millions of pounds every year.
▪ phishing the activity of dishonestly persuading people to give you their credit card details over the Internet, so that you can steal money from their bank account:
Phishing is becoming very popular with computer criminals.