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English

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Old English næġel, from Proto-Germanic *nagalaz, from Proto-Indo-European base *(o)nogʰ ‘nail’. Cognate with Dutch nagel, German Nagel, Swedish nagel; and (from Indo-European) with Greek ὄνυξ, Latin unguis, Russian ноготь, Breton ivin.

Noun

A metal nail (fastener).

Singular
nail

Plural
{{{1}}}

nail ({{{1}}})
  1. The thin, horny plate at the ends of fingers and toes on humans and some other animals.
  2. A spike-shaped metal fastener used for joining wood or similar materials. The nail is generally driven through two or more layers of material by means of impacts from a hammer or other device. It is then held in place by friction.
  3. One of the four round pedestals (the nails) in Bristol.
  4. An archaic English unit of length equivalent to 1/16th of a yard (2.25 inches).
Derived terms
Translations
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Etymology 2

From Old English næġlan

Verb

Infinitive
to nail

Third person singular
-

Simple past
-

Past participle
-

Present participle
-

to nail (third-person singular simple present -, present participle -, simple past and past participle -)
  1. (transitive) To employ a nail as a fastener to join objects together.
    He nailed the placard to the post.
  2. (intransitive) To drive a nail.
    He used the ax head for nailing.
  3. (slang) catch.
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 261a.
      we'll nail the sophist to it, if we can get him on that charge;
  4. (slang) expose as a sham.
  5. (slang) accomplish something completely and successfully.
    I really nailed that test.
  6. (slang) hit a target effectively with some weapon.
  7. (slang) Of a male, to engage in sexual intercourse.
    Can we get this meeting over with, I have a chance to nail the flautist at the symphony if I can meet her after the show. - Brian Griffin in the TV series Family Guy
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