n. & v.
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).
Phrases and idioms:
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.
Etymology: OE hnutu f. Gmc