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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (3)

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;


VERB (7)

1. attach something somewhere by means of nails;
- Example: "nail the board onto the wall"

2. take into custody;
- Example: "the police nabbed the suspected criminals"
[syn: collar, nail, apprehend, arrest, pick up, nab, cop]

3. hit hard;
- Example: "He smashed a 3-run homer"
[syn: smash, nail, boom, blast]

4. succeed in obtaining a position;
- Example: "He nailed down a spot at Harvard"
[syn: nail down, nail, peg]

5. succeed at easily;
- Example: "She sailed through her exams"
- Example: "You will pass with flying colors"
- Example: "She nailed her astrophysics course"
[syn: breeze through, ace, pass with flying colors, sweep through, sail through, nail]

6. locate exactly;
- Example: "can you pinpoint the position of the enemy?"
- Example: "The chemists could not nail the identity of the chromosome"
[syn: pinpoint, nail]

7. complete a pass;
[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. [root]259.] 1. (Anat.) the horny scale of plate of epidermis at the end of the fingers and toes of man and many apes. [1913 Webster] His nayles like a briddes claws were. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zool.) (a) The basal thickened portion of the anterior wings of certain hemiptera. (b) The terminal horny plate on the beak of ducks, and other allied birds. [1913 Webster] 3. A slender, pointed piece of metal, usually with a head[2], used for fastening pieces of wood or other material together, by being driven into or through them. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] 4. A measure of length, being two inches and a quarter, or the sixteenth of a yard. [1913 Webster] 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 right way. (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. [1913 Webster] He is now dead, and nailed in his chest. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. To stud or boss with nails, or as with nails. [1913 Webster] The rivets of your arms were nailed with gold. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] When they came to talk of places in town, you saw at once how I nailed them. --Goldsmith. [1913 Webster] 4. To spike, as a cannon. [Obs.] --Crabb. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

nail 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, boom, blast] 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:

Nail 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. 2:14). 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.