Definition of “nail” - 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.

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

nailverb

uk /neɪl/ us /neɪl/

(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 verb(s)

(Definition of “nail” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“nail” in Business English

See all translations

nailverb [ T ]

uk /neɪl/ us 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.

Phrasal verb(s)

nailnoun

uk /neɪl/ us
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)