Language: Old English
Origin: nægl


1 noun
Related topics: Daily Life, Human, Technology
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

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

as hard/tough as nails

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

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)

Dictionary results for "nail"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.