Meaning of NAIL in English

n. & v.


1. a small usu. sharpened metal spike with a broadened flat head, driven in with a hammer to join things together or to serve as a peg, protection (cf. HOBNAIL), or decoration.

2 a a horny covering on the upper surface of the tip of the human finger or toe. b a claw or talon. c a hard growth on the upper mandible of some soft-billed birds.

3 hist. a measure of cloth length (equal to 21/4 inches).

1. fasten with a nail or nails (nailed it to the beam; nailed the planks together).

2 fix or keep (a person, attention, etc.) fixed.

3 a secure, catch, or get hold of (a person or thing). b expose or discover (a lie or a liar).

Phrases and idioms:

hard as nails 1 callous; unfeeling.

2 in good physical condition. nail-biting causing severe anxiety or tension. nail-brush a small brush for cleaning the nails. nail one's colours to the mast persist; refuse to give in.

nail down

1. bind (a person) to a promise etc.

2 define precisely.

3 fasten (a thing) with nails. nail enamel US nail polish. nail-file a roughened metal or emery strip used for smoothing the nails. nail-head Archit. an ornament like the head of a nail. nail in a person's coffin something thought to increase the risk of death. nail polish a varnish applied to the nails to colour them or make them shiny. nail-punch (or -set) a tool for sinking the head of a nail below a surface. nail-scissors small curved scissors for trimming the nails.

nail up

1. close (a door etc.) with nails.

2 fix (a thing) at a height with nails. nail varnish Brit. nail polish. on the nail (esp. of payment) without delay (cash on the nail).


nailed adj. (also in comb.). nailless adj.

Etymology: OE n{aelig}gel, n{aelig}glan f. Gmc

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.