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English definition of “nail”

nail

noun [C] uk   /neɪl/ us  

nail noun [C] (METAL)

B2 a small, thin piece of metal with one pointed end and one flat end that you hit into something with a hammer, especially in order to fasten or join it to something else: a three-inch nail I stepped on a nail sticking out of the floorboards. Hammer a nail into the wall and we'll hang the mirror from it.

nail noun [C] (BODY PART)

B2 a thin, hard area that covers the upper side of the end of each finger and each toe: Stop biting your nails! nail clippers a nail file

nail

verb uk   /neɪl/ us  

nail verb (FASTEN)

[T + adv/prep] to fasten something with nails: She had nailed a small shelf to the door. A notice had been nailed up on the wall. The lid of the box had been nailed down.

nail verb (CATCH)

[T] slang to catch someone, especially when they are doing something wrong, or to make it clear that they are guilty: The police had been trying to nail those guys for months.
(Definition of nail from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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