American English

Definition of nail verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they nail
    he / she / it nails
    past simple nailed
    -ing form nailing
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  1. 1nail something (+ adv./prep./adj.) to fasten something to something with a nail or nails I nailed the sign to a tree. Wooden boards had been nailed across the windows. The shutters had been nailed shut.
  2. 2nail somebody (informal) to catch someone and prove they are guilty of a crime or of doing something bad The police haven't been able to nail the killer.
  3. 3 nail something (informal) to tell the truth about something and prove that it is illegal, false, etc. We must nail this lie.
  4. 4 nail something (informal) to achieve something or do something right, especially in sports He nailed a victory in the semifinals.
  5. Phrasal Verbsnail somethingdownnail somebodydown (to something)nail somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: nail