Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

nail - definition and synonyms

 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb [transitive] nail pronunciation in American English /neɪl/
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theynail
he/she/itnails
present participlenailing
past tensenailed
past participlenailed
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    to attach one thing to another with a nail or nails
    nail to/across/over/together:

    He nailed the “No Smokingsign to the wall.

    Boards had been nailed over the front door.

    nail something shut:

    The windows are nailed shut.

  2. 2
    informal to prove that someone has done something wrong or illegal

    They finally nailed Capone for tax evasion.

  3. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    4
    nail the dismount in gymnastics, to end a sequence correctlySubmitted from United Kingdom on 08/11/2012
  4. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    5
    nail the dismount to finish something off satisfactorily

    I am very fond of Stephen King's novels, but he regularly fails to nail the dismount.

    Submitted from United Kingdom on 08/11/2012

phrasal verbs

unicorn

a start-up … whose value has reached more than one billion US dollars

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

crafternoon

an afternoon full of crafts

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog