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. 3nail something (informal) to tell the truth about something and prove that it is illegal, false, etc. We must nail this lie.
  4. 4nail 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