Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “nail”

See all translations

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.
More examples

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
More examples

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.
Translations of “nail”
in Korean 못, 손톱…
in Arabic مِسْمار, ظِفْر…
in French ongle, clou…
in Turkish çivi, tırnak…
in Italian chiodo, unghia…
in Chinese (Traditional) 金屬, 釘,釘子…
in Russian гвоздь, ноготь…
in Polish gwóźdź, paznokieć…
in Spanish uña, clavo…
in Portuguese prego, unha…
in German der Nagel, nagel…
in Catalan clau, ungla…
in Japanese くぎ, (手足の)つめ…
in Chinese (Simplified) 金属, 钉,钉子…
(Definition of nail from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of nail?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “nail” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

shampoo

a liquid used for washing hair, or for washing particular objects or materials

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

crossfit noun

March 23, 2015
high-intensity strength training Two women in strappy dresses discussed how much weight they could snatch

Read More