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

  • n. A shallow notch, cut, or indentation on an edge or a surface: nicks in the table; razor nicks on his chin.
  • n. Chiefly British Slang A prison or police station.
  • n. Printing A groove down the side of a piece of type used to ensure that it is correctly placed.
  • transitive v. To cut a nick or notch in.
  • transitive v. To cut into and wound slightly: A sliver of glass nicked my hand.
  • transitive v. To cut short; check: nicked an impulse to flee.
  • transitive v. Slang To cheat, especially by overcharging.
  • transitive v. Chiefly British Slang To steal.
  • transitive v. Chiefly British Slang To arrest.
  • idiom in the nick of time Just at the critical moment; just in time.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small cut in a surface
  • n. A particular point or place considered as marked by a nick; the exact point or critical moment.
  • n. a small deflection of the ball off the edge of the bat, often going to the wicket-keeper for a catch
  • n. Short for nickname.
  • n. Condition
  • n. A police station or prison
  • n. The point where the wall of the court meets the floor.
  • v. To make a nick in, especially unintentionally.
  • v. To steal.
  • v. To arrest.
  • v. to hit the ball with the edge of the bat and produce a fine deflection
  • v. To nickname; to style.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An evil spirit of the waters.
  • n. A notch cut into something.
  • n. A score for keeping an account; a reckoning.
  • n. A notch cut crosswise in the shank of a type, to assist a compositor in placing it properly in the stick, and in distribution.
  • n. A broken or indented place in any edge or surface.
  • n. A particular point or place considered as marked by a nick; the exact point or critical moment.
  • transitive v. To make a nick or nicks in; to notch; to keep count of or upon by nicks
  • transitive v. To mar; to deface; to make ragged, as by cutting nicks or notches in; to create a nick{2} in, deliberately or accidentally.
  • transitive v. To suit or fit into, as by a correspondence of nicks; to tally with.
  • transitive v. To hit at, or in, the nick; to touch rightly; to strike at the precise point or time.
  • transitive v. To make a cross cut or cuts on the under side of (the tail of a horse, in order to make him carry it higher).
  • transitive v. To nickname; to style.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make a nick or notch in; notch; cut or mark with nicks or notches.
  • To sever with a snip or single cut, as with shears.
  • To cut short; abridge. See nick, n., 3.
  • To break or crack; smash as the nickers used to do. See nicker, 2.
  • In coal-mining, to cut (the coal) on the side, after kirving, holing, or undercutting.
  • To nod; wink.
  • To strike or hit right; hit or hit upon exactly; fit into; suit.
  • In gaming, to throw or turn up; hit or hit upon.
  • To delude or deceive; cozen; cheat, as at dice.
  • To catch in the act.
  • To fit; unite or combine; be adapted for combining: said, in stock-breeding, of the crossing of one strain of blood with another.
  • To suit; compare; be comparable.
  • In the game of hazard, to throw a winning number. Compare nick, n., 3.
  • To bet; gamble.
  • To nickname; hence, to annoy or tease by nicknaming.
  • n. A hollow cut or slight depression made in the surface of anything; a notch.
  • n. A score or reckoning: so called from the old practice of keeping reckonings on tallies or notched sticks.
  • n. A false bottom in a beer-can, by which customers were cheated, the nick below and the froth above filling up part of the measure.
  • n. Point, especially point of time: as, in the nick of—that is, on the point of (being or doing something).
  • n. The exact point (of time) which accords with or is demanded by the necessities of the case; the critical or right moment; the very moment: used chiefly in the phrases in the nick or in the nick of time—that is, at the right moment, just when most needed or demanded.
  • n. A lucky or winning throw in the game of hazard: as, eleven is the nick to seven. See hazard, 1.
  • n. The devil: usually with the addition of Old.
  • n. In type-founding, a small groove, made by the mold on the front side and lower part of the body of American type.
  • n. In violin-making, one of the little notches cut midway in the side of an f-hole or sound-hole, to indicate the proper location for the bridge.
  • n. In lumbering, same as undercut, 2.
  • n. In craps, a throw of 7 or 11, which wins all the stakes for the caster immediately.

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

  • n. (British slang) a prison
  • v. divide or reset the tail muscles of
  • v. cut slightly, with a razor
  • v. cut a nick into
  • n. an impression in a surface (as made by a blow)
  • n. a small cut
  • v. mate successfully; of livestock


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

Middle English nik, possibly alteration (influenced by nokke, notch) of niche; see niche.



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