nail Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “nail” in the English Dictionary

"nail" in British English

See all translations

nailnoun [C]

uk   /neɪl/  us   /neɪl/
  • 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.

expend iconexpend iconMore 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

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

nailverb

uk   /neɪl/  us   /neɪl/
  • 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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"nail" in American English

See all translations

nailnoun [C]

 us   /neɪl/
  • nail noun [C] (METAL)

a thin piece of metal having a pointed end that is forced into wood or another substance by hitting the other end with a hammer, and is used esp. to join two pieces or to hold something in place
  • nail noun [C] (BODY PART)

the hard, smooth part at the upper end of each finger and toe

nailverb [T]

 us   /neɪl/
  • nail verb [T] (FASTEN)

to attach or fasten with a nail or nails: [M] Workmen were nailing down the carpet.
If you nail something shut, you put nails in it to fasten it so that it cannot easily be opened: He nailed the box shut.
infml To nail someone is to catch someone in a dishonest or illegal act: We finally nailed the guys dumping garbage in the park.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of nail from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"nail" in Business English

See all translations

nailverb [T]

uk   us   /neɪl/ informal
to prove that someone is guilty of doing something: Identifying and nailing insider dealers in the credit markets is a difficult task.
to do something successfully: He nailed the interview and was offered the job right there.

nailnoun

uk   us   /neɪl/
on the nail UK informal
at exactly the right time: Some credit cards are offering loyalty bonuses to customers who pay on the nail .
(Definition of nail from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “nail”
in Korean 못, 손톱…
in Arabic مِسْمار, ظِفْر…
in Malaysian kuku, paku…
in French ongle, clou…
in Russian гвоздь, ноготь…
in Chinese (Traditional) 金屬, 釘,釘子…
in Italian chiodo, unghia…
in Turkish çivi, tırnak…
in Polish gwóźdź, paznokieć…
in Spanish clavo, uña…
in Vietnamese móng, cái đinh…
in Portuguese prego, unha…
in Thai เล็บ, ตะปู…
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…
in Indonesian kuku, paku…
What is the pronunciation of nail?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“nail” in Business English

A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
by ,
May 04, 2016
by Kate Woodford We can’t always focus on the positive! This week, we’re looking at the language that is used to refer to arguing and arguments, and the differences in meaning between the various words and phrases. There are several words that suggest that people are arguing about something that is not important. (As you might

Read More 

Word of the Day

droid

a robot (= a machine controlled by computer) that is made to look like a human

Word of the Day

trigger warning noun
trigger warning noun
May 02, 2016
a warning that a subject may trigger unpleasant emotions or memories This is not, I should stress, an argument that trigger warnings should become commonplace on campus.

Read More