nails


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nail
left to right: common, finishing, ring, and roofing nails

nail

 (nāl)
n.
1. A slim, pointed piece of metal hammered into material as a fastener.
2.
a. A fingernail or toenail.
b. A claw or talon.
3. Something resembling a nail in shape, sharpness, or use.
4. A measure of length formerly used for cloth, equal to 1/16 yard (5.7 centimeters).
tr.v. nailed, nail·ing, nails
1. To fasten, join, or attach with or as if with a nail.
2. To cover, enclose, or shut by fastening with nails: nail up a window.
3. To keep fixed, motionless, or intent: Fear nailed me to my seat.
4. Slang
a. To stop and seize; catch: Police nailed the suspect.
b. To detect and expose: nailed the senator in a lie; nail corruption before it gets out of control.
5. Slang
a. To strike or bring down: nail a bird in flight; nail a running back.
b. To perform successfully or have noteworthy success in: nailed the dive; nailed the exam.
6. Baseball To put out (a base runner).
7. Vulgar Slang To have sexual intercourse with.
Phrasal Verb:
nail down
1. To discover or establish conclusively: nailed down the story by checking all the facts.
2. To win: nailed down another victory in the golf tournament.
3. To specify or fix: We were finally able to nail down a meeting time.

[Middle English, from Old English nægl, fingernail, toenail; see nogh- in Indo-European roots.]

nail′er n.

nails

  • hyponychial dirt - After an archaeology dig, you will have hyponychial dirt (under the nails).
  • gadzooks - An abridgment of God's hooks, "nails of the cross."
  • quick - Any tender or sensitive flesh, as under the nails, around a sore or wound, or under a hoof.
  • exungulate - To trim one's nails.
References in classic literature ?
He would send the girl out for sixpen'orth of nails, and then one of the boys after her to tell her what size to get; and, from that, he would gradually work down, and start the whole house.
"What!" exclaimed the Mother; "a whole keg of Nails, at your age!
`I am myself weak in the eyes, and have often taken one thing for another,' quoth the knight, as he sprang back into his saddle and rode off, leaving the Sieur de Crespigny biting his nails before the door.
Punctually, as the shrill-toned bell of the black marble study clock began to chime nine, Sir Pitt made his appearance, fresh, neat, smugly shaved, with a waxy clean face, and stiff shirt collar, his scanty hair combed and oiled, trimming his nails as he descended the stairs majestically, in a starched cravat and a grey flannel dressing-gown--a real old English gentleman, in a word--a model of neatness and every propriety.
Upon the face were many severe scratches, and, upon the throat, dark bruises, and deep indentations of finger nails, as if the deceased had been throttled to death.
As a carpenter's nails are divided into wrought nails and cut nails; so mankind may be similarly divided.
"With regard to the mode in which thou shouldst govern thy person and thy house, Sancho, the first charge I have to give thee is to be clean, and to cut thy nails, not letting them grow as some do, whose ignorance makes them fancy that long nails are an ornament to their hands, as if those excrescences they neglect to cut were nails, and not the talons of a lizard-catching kestrel- a filthy and unnatural abuse.
Three nails driven into the head commemorated as many crises in Maggie's nine years of earthly struggle; that luxury of vengeance having been suggested to her by the picture of Jael destroying Sisera in the old Bible.
He spoke in a very loud, offhand way, and I thought it very unlike him not to see about the shoe, as he was generally wonderfully particular about loose nails in our shoes.
To-day they were to trim the grape-vine, so Kit mounted half-way up a short ladder, and began to snip and hammer away, while the old gentleman, with a great interest in his proceedings, handed up the nails and shreds of cloth as he wanted them.
"You can't conceive how queer it all seems to a country person like me, as queer as that gentleman's nails I saw at your place..."
'Nothing better,' said this false bride, 'than that she should be thrown into a cask stuck round with sharp nails, and that two white horses should be put to it, and should drag it from street to street till she was dead.' 'Thou art she!' said the old king; 'and as thou has judged thyself, so shall it be done to thee.' And the young king was then married to his true wife, and they reigned over the kingdom in peace and happiness all their lives; and the good fairy came to see them, and restored the faithful Falada to life again.