[syn: complete, nail]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Nail \Nail\ (n[=a]l), n. [AS. naegel, akin to D. nagel, OS. &
OHG. nagal, G. nagel, Icel. nagl, nail (in sense 1), nagli
nail (in sense 3), Sw. nagel nail (in senses 1 and 3), Dan.
nagle, Goth. ganagljan to nail, Lith. nagas nail (in sense
1), Russ. nogote, L. unguis, Gr. "o`nyx, Skr. nakha.
1. (Anat.) the horny scale of plate of epidermis at the end
of the fingers and toes of man and many apes.
His nayles like a briddes claws were. --Chaucer.
Note: The nails are strictly homologous with hoofs and claws.
When compressed, curved, and pointed, they are called
talons or claws, and the animal bearing them is
said to be unguiculate; when they incase the
extremities of the digits they are called hoofs, and
the animal is ungulate.
(a) The basal thickened portion of the anterior wings of
(b) The terminal horny plate on the beak of ducks, and
other allied birds.
3. A slender, pointed piece of metal, usually with a head,
used for fastening pieces of wood or other material
together, by being driven into or through them.
Note: The different sorts of nails are named either from the
use to which they are applied, from their shape, from
their size, or from some other characteristic, as
shingle, floor, ship-carpenters', and horseshoe nails,
roseheads, diamonds, fourpenny, tenpenny (see Penny,
a.), chiselpointed, cut, wrought, or wire nails, etc.
4. A measure of length, being two inches and a quarter, or
the sixteenth of a yard.
Nail ball (Ordnance), a round projectile with an iron bolt
protruding to prevent it from turning in the gun.
Nail plate, iron in plates from which cut nails are made.
On the nail, in hand; on the spot; immediately; without
delay or time of credit; as, to pay money on the nail; to
pay cash on the nail. "You shall have ten thousand pounds
on the nail." --Beaconsfield.
To hit the nail on the head,
(a) to hit most effectively; to do or say a thing in the
(b) to describe the most important factor.
[1913 Webster +PJC]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Nail \Nail\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Nailed (n[=a]ld); p. pr. &
vb. n. Nailing.] [AS. naeglian. See Nail, n.]
1. To fasten with a nail or nails; to close up or secure by
means of nails; as, to nail boards to the beams.
He is now dead, and nailed in his chest. --Chaucer.
2. To stud or boss with nails, or as with nails.
The rivets of your arms were nailed with gold.
3. To fasten, as with a nail; to bind or hold, as to a
bargain or to acquiescence in an argument or assertion;
hence, to catch; to trap.
When they came to talk of places in town, you saw at
once how I nailed them. --Goldsmith.
4. To spike, as a cannon. [Obs.] --Crabb.
To nail an assertion or To nail a lie, etc., to detect
and expose it, so as to put a stop to its currency; -- an
expression probably derived from the former practice of
shopkeepers, who were accustomed to nail bad or
counterfeit pieces of money to the counter.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: horny plate covering and protecting part of the dorsal
surface of the digits
2: a thin pointed piece of metal that is hammered into materials
as a fastener
3: a former unit of length for cloth equal to 1/16 of a yard
v 1: attach something somewhere by means of nails; "nail the
board onto the wall"
2: take into custody; "the police nabbed the suspected
criminals" [syn: collar, nail, apprehend, arrest,
pick up, nab, cop]
3: hit hard; "He smashed a 3-run homer" [syn: smash, nail,
4: succeed in obtaining a position; "He nailed down a spot at
Harvard" [syn: nail down, nail, peg]
5: succeed at easily; "She sailed through her exams"; "You will
pass with flying colors"; "She nailed her astrophysics
course" [syn: breeze through, ace, pass with flying
colors, sweep through, sail through, nail]
6: locate exactly; "can you pinpoint the position of the
enemy?"; "The chemists could not nail the identity of the
chromosome" [syn: pinpoint, nail]
7: complete a pass [syn: complete, nail]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
187 Moby Thesaurus words for "nail":
Gibraltar, abduct, adamant, agonize, articulate, at once, attach,
bag, batten, batten down, be correct, be precise, be right, biff,
bolt, bone, brick, buckle, butt, button, cabbage, capture,
carry off, catch, cement, chafe, clasp, claw, claws, cleat, clench,
clinch, clip, clout, clutch, clutches, cold, collar, complete,
conclude, concrete, diamond, digits, ding, distinguish, dovetail,
enmesh, ensnare, entangle, entrap, fangs, fasten, fastener,
fastening, finalize, fingernails, fingers, fix, flint, focus, foul,
fret, get, glue, grab, granite, grapple, hands, hard as nails,
hardy, harpoon, hasp, have, heart of oak, hinge, hit, hitch, hook,
hooks, horse, identify, immediately, iron, jam, jaws, join, joint,
kidnap, know, know again, land, lasso, latch, lion, lock, make out,
mandibles, marble, maxillae, meathooks, mesh, miter, mitts,
mortise, nab, nail down, nails, net, nick, nip, nippers, noose,
oak, on the nail, on the spot, ox, palm, peg, pin, pincers, pinch,
place, pounces, prehend, promptly, punch, rabbet, realize,
recall knowledge of, recognize, reidentify, resolve, right away,
rivet, rock, rope, sack, scarf, screw, secure, settle, sew,
shanghai, shoot, skewer, slog, slosh, snag, snap, snare, snatch,
sniggle, sock, spear, spike, spot, staple, steel, stew over, stick,
stitch, stone, strike, suffer, tack, take, talon, talons, tangle,
tangle up with, teeth, tell, throttle, toggle, tough, trap,
unfeeling, unguals, ungulae, unsentimental, unsympathetic,
vigorous, wedge, whack, without delay, worry, zipper
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:
for fastening. (1.) Hebrew yathed, "piercing," a peg or nail of
any material (Ezek. 15:3), more especially a tent-peg (Ex.
27:19; 35:18; 38:20), with one of which Jael (q.v.) pierced the
temples of Sisera (Judg. 4:21, 22). This word is also used
metaphorically (Zech. 10:4) for a prince or counsellor, just as
"the battle-bow" represents a warrior.
(2.) Masmer, a "point," the usual word for a nail. The words
of the wise are compared to "nails fastened by the masters of
assemblies" (Eccl. 12:11, A.V.). The Revised Version reads, "as
nails well fastened are the words of the masters," etc. Others
(as Plumptre) read, "as nails fastened are the masters of
assemblies" (comp. Isa. 22:23; Ezra 9:8). David prepared nails
for the temple (1 Chr. 22:3; 2 Chr. 3:9). The nails by which our
Lord was fixed to the cross are mentioned (John 20:25; Col.
Nail of the finger (Heb. tsipporen, "scraping"). To "pare the
nails" is in Deut. 21:12 (marg., "make," or "dress," or "suffer
to grow") one of the signs of purification, separation from
former heathenism (comp. Lev. 14:8; Num. 8:7). In Jer. 17:1 this
word is rendered "point."
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
NAIL, A measure of length, equal to two inches and a quarter. Vide Measure.