from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A large-headed nail.
- idiom dead as a doornail Undoubtedly dead.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A nail with a wide head, traditionally used in the construction and ornamentation of wooden doors.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The nail or knob on which in ancient doors the knocker struck; -- hence the old saying, “As dead as a doornail.”
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A large nail or stud fixed in a door to receive the blow of a knocker of simple form.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a nail with a large head; formerly used to decorate doors
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Snow (UID#1832) on August 24th, 2009 at 5: 05 pm you clearly dont have the IQ of a doornail. a doornail is far smarter than you and it has a purpose.
One sure sign that the Senate health care bill is dead as a doornail is the inevitable appearance of the anonymously-sourced, finger-pointing articles.
Alan SparrowElmswell, Suffolk• Green shoots of economic recovery, deader than a doornail, Catford, 24 April.
June 26th, 2009 3: 52 pm ET move on dot org ... you are something else altogether again, mind bogglingly misinformed, delusional and dip-wodd dumber than a doornail. dumb thugs.
Anti-lib.theol. talking points are dead as a doornail 20 years after the cold war.
Though Bob  is alive and well (and the ten gallon tank has never been sparklier,) I came home yesterday to discover one of my beloved tetra stuck to the biofilter, dead as the proverbial doornail.
But when the insurers, pharmaceuticals and the White House agreed to play act on it it was dead as a doornail.
Poor Mr. Blaylock, dead as a doornail and lying in his bed.
Some varieties leaf up earlier than others, but many crape myrtles stay dormant (read: “Looks dead as a doornail”) until mid - to late-May.
FROM SPLASHPAGE: In the past, Aaron Eckhart has had no problems stating matter-of-factly that Two-Face was done for, telling SuperHeroHype back in September that his character was as "dead as a doornail."