Definition of nest noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//nest//
    ; NAmE NAmE//nest//
    Animal homes
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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 See related entries: Animal homes
  2. 2  [countable] a place where insects or other small creatures live and produce their young a wasps’ nest a nest of mice See related entries: Animal homes
  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. Word OriginOld English, of Germanic origin; related to Latin nidus, from the Indo-European bases of nether (meaning ‘down’) and sit.Extra examples A rat took the egg while the mother was away from the nest. Her children have flown the nest. The female spends all her time on the nest. The litters of several different females often occupy the same nest. The male and female take turns to sit on the nest. The male uses song to attract a female to his nest site. The snake will attack if disturbed inside its nest. You should avoid disturbing the nest until after the eggs are hatched.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 See related entries: Selfish
    1. 1(of a young bird) to become able to fly and leave its nest
    2. 2(informal) (of somebody’s child) to leave home and live somewhere else
    a difficult situation in which a lot of people get very angry His letter to the papers stirred up a real hornets' nest.
    1. 1a discovery that seems interesting but is found to have no value See related entries: Farm animals
    2. 2a very complicated situation This area of the law is a veritable mare’s nest. See related entries: Farm animals
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: nest