Definition for NAIL

NAIL, n. [Sax. nægel; Sw. G. and D. nagel; Dan. nagle; Russ. nagot; Sans. naga or nakha. If the word was originally applied to a claw or talon, the primary sense may be to catch, or it may be a shoot.]

  1. The claw or talon of a fowl or other animal.
  2. The horny substance growing at the end of the human fingers and toes.
  3. A small pointed piece of metal, usually with a head, to be driven into a board or other piece of timber, and serving to fasten it to other timber. The larger kinds of instruments of this sort are called spikes; and a long thin kind with a flattish head, is called a brad.
  4. A stud or boss; a short nail with a large broad head. – Swift.
  5. A measure of length, being two inches and a quarter, or the 16th of a yard. On the nail, in hand; immediately; without delay or time of credit; as, to pay money on the nail. To hit the nail on the head, to hit or touch the exact point.

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