American English

Definition of nest noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a hollow place or structure that a bird makes or chooses for laying its eggs in and sheltering its young sparrows building a nest of twigs and dry grass
  2. 2[countable] a place where insects or other small creatures live and produce their young a wasps' nest a nest of mice
  3. 3[singular] a secret place which is full of bad people and their activities a nest of thieves
  4. 4[singular] the home, thought of as the safe place where parents bring up their children to leave the nest (= leave your parents' home) see also empty nest
  5. 5[countable, usually singular] a group or set of similar things that are made to fit inside each other a nest of tables
  6. Idioms
    feather your (own) nest
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    to make yourself richer, especially by spending money on yourself that should be spent on something else
    a hornets' nest
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    a difficult situation in which a lot of people get very angry His letter to the editor stirred up a real hornets' nest.
      a mare's nest
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    1. 1a discovery that seems interesting but is found to have no value
    2. 2a very complicated situation This area of the law is a veritable mare's nest.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: nest