American English

Definition of nail noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    jump to other results
  1. 1a thin hard layer covering the outer tip of the fingers or toes Stop biting your nails! nail clippers see also fingernail, toenail
  2. 2a small, thin, pointed piece of metal with a flat head, used for hanging things on a wall or for joining pieces of wood together She hammered the nail in. Topic CollocationsDecorating and Home Improvementhouses refurbish/renovate a building/a house convert a building/house/room into homes/offices/ apartments/condominiums/condos extend/enlarge a house/building/room/kitchen build an addition (on/to something)/a sunroom/a deck knock down/demolish a house/home/building/wall knock out/down the wall separating two roomsdecorating furnish/paint/repaint a home/house/apartment/room be decorated in bright colors/in a traditional style/with flowers/with paintings paint/plaster the walls/ceiling hang/put up/strip off/remove (the) wallpaper install/replace/remove the bathroom fixtures build/put up shelves lay wooden flooring/timber decking/floor tiles/a carpet/a patio floor put up/hang/take down a picture/painting/poster/curtainhome improvement do carpentry/the plumbing/the wiring (yourself) make home improvements add/install central heating/underfloor heating/insulation install double-glazing/a smoke alarm insulate your house/your home/the walls/the pipes/the tanks/the attic fix/repair a roof/a leak/a pipe/the plumbing/a leaking faucet block/clog (up)/unblock/unclog a pipe/sink/drain make/drill/fill a hole hammer (in)/pull out/remove a nail tighten/loosen/remove a screw saw/cut/treat/stain/varnish/paint wood compare screw
  3. Idioms
    fight tooth and nail
    jump to other results
    to fight in a very determined way for what you want The residents are fighting tooth and nail to stop the new development.
    (as) hard as nails
    jump to other results
    showing no sympathy, kindness, or fear
    hit the nail on the head
    jump to other results
    to say something that is exactly right
    a nail in somebody's/something's coffin
    jump to other results
    something that makes the end or failure of an organization, someone's plans, etc. more likely to happen This latest defeat is another nail in the government's coffin.
      (as) tough as nails (informal)
      jump to other results
    1. 1very strong and able to deal successfully with difficult conditions or situations She's almost 90 but she's still as tough as nails.
    2. 2not feeling or showing any emotion
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: nail