from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A container or shelter made by a bird out of twigs, grass, or other material to hold its eggs and young.
  • n. A similar structure in which fish, insects, or other animals deposit eggs or keep their young.
  • n. A place in which young are reared; a lair.
  • n. A number of insects, birds, or other animals occupying such a place: a nest of hornets.
  • n. A place affording snug refuge or lodging; a home.
  • n. A place or environment that fosters rapid growth or development, especially of something undesirable; a hotbed: a nest of criminal activity.
  • n. Those who occupy or frequent such a place or environment.
  • n. A set of objects of graduated size that can be stacked together, each fitting within the one immediately larger: a nest of tables.
  • n. A cluster of similar things.
  • n. Computer Science A set of data contained sequentially within another.
  • n. A group of weapons in a prepared position: a machine-gun nest.
  • intransitive v. To build or occupy a nest.
  • intransitive v. To create and settle into a warm and secure refuge.
  • intransitive v. To hunt for birds' nests, especially in order to collect the eggs.
  • intransitive v. To fit together in a stack.
  • transitive v. To place in or as if in a nest.
  • transitive v. To put snugly together or inside one another: to nest boxes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A structure built by a bird as a place to incubate eggs and rear young.
  • n. A place used by another mammal, fish, amphibian or insect, for depositing eggs and hatching young.
  • n. A snug, comfortable, or cozy residence or job situation.
  • n. A retreat, or place of habitual resort.
  • n. A hideout for bad people to frequent or haunt; a den.
  • n. A home that a child or young adult shares with a parent, guardian, or a person acting in the capacity of a parent or guardian. A parental home.
  • n. A fixed amount of cards in some bidding games awarded to the highest bidder allowing him to exchange any or all with cards in his hand.
  • n. A fortified position for a weapon, e.g. a machine gun nest.
  • n. A structure consisting of nested structures, such as nested loops or nested subroutine calls.
  • n. Pasta formed into a round shape.
  • v. To build or settle into a nest.
  • v. To settle into a home.
  • v. To successively neatly fit inside another.
  • v. To place in, or as if in, a nest.
  • v. To place one thing neatly inside another, and both inside yet another (and so on).
  • v. To hunt for birds' nests or their contents (usually "go nesting").

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The bed or receptacle prepared by a fowl for holding her eggs and for hatching and rearing her young.
  • n. The place in which the eggs of other animals, as insects, turtles, etc., are laid and hatched; a snug place in which young animals are reared.
  • n. A snug, comfortable, or cozy residence or situation; a retreat, or place of habitual resort; hence, those who occupy a nest, frequent a haunt, or are associated in the same pursuit
  • n. An aggregated mass of any ore or mineral, in an isolated state, within a rock.
  • n. A collection of boxes, cases, or the like, of graduated size, each put within the one next larger.
  • n. A compact group of pulleys, gears, springs, etc., working together or collectively.
  • intransitive v. To build and occupy a nest.
  • transitive v. To put into a nest; to form a nest for.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To build or occupy a nest.
  • To relieve nature.
  • To search for nests: as, to go nesting or bird-nesting.
  • To lodge or house in or as in a nest; provide with a place of shelter or resort; build habitations for; house: often used reflexively.
  • To place (articles of graduated size belonging to a set) one within another. See nest, n., 6.
  • A Middle English form of next.
  • n. A structure formed or used by a bird for incubation and the rearing of its young.
  • n. A place where the eggs of insects, turtles, etc., are laid; a place in which the young of certain small animals are reared, or a number of such animals dwelling together: as, a nest of rabbits.
  • n. A snug place of residence; habitation; abode.
  • n. Any abode, especially of evil things: as, a nest of vice.
  • n. A number of persons dwelling or consorting together or resorting to the same haunt, or the haunt itself: generally in a bad sense.
  • n. A series or set, as of boxes, baskets, trays, bowls, etc., of diminishing sizes, each fitting within the next in order.
  • n. A connected series of cog-wheels or pulleys.
  • n. In geology, an aggregated mass of any ore or mineral in an isolated state, within a rock.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a structure in which animals lay eggs or give birth to their young
  • v. fit together or fit inside
  • v. gather nests
  • n. a gang of people (criminals or spies or terrorists) assembled in one locality
  • n. furniture pieces made to fit close together
  • n. a cosy or secluded retreat
  • v. move or arrange oneself in a comfortable and cozy position
  • v. inhabit a nest, usually after building
  • n. a kind of gun emplacement


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old English.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English nest, from Proto-Germanic *nestaz, from Proto-Indo-European *nisdós (“nest”), a compound of *ni (“down”) and the zero-grade of the root *sed- (“to sit”) (whence also English sit).



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