Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: DAILY LIFE

Language: Old English
Origin: nægl

nail

1 noun
     
nail
nail1 S3 [countable]
1TD a thin pointed piece of metal with a flat top, which you hit into a surface with a hammer, for example to join things together or to hang something on:
The key was hanging on a nail by the door.
hammer/bang/hit a nail into something
She hammered a nail into the wall.
2HBH your nails are the hard smooth layers on the ends of your fingers and toes:
I've broken my nail.
Stop biting your nails!
She sat painting her nails (=putting a coloured substance on them).
He still had dirt under his nails.
fingernail, toenail
3

nail in somebody's/something's coffin

one of several bad things which help to destroy someone's success or hopes:
Observers fear that this strike will be another nail in the coffin of the industry.
the final nail in his coffin
4

as hard/tough as nails

very tough and not easily frightened, or not caring about the effects of your actions on other people
5

on the nail

a) British English if you pay money on the nail, you pay it immediately
b) especially American English completely correct:
They got it absolutely on the nail.

➔ hit the nail on the head

at hit1 (26)
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