Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A unit of luminance equal to one candela per square meter, measured perpendicular to the rays of the source.
  • noun The egg of certain parasitic insects, especially a head louse.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The egg of a louse or some similar insect.
  • noun A small spot, speck, or protuberance.
  • noun In mining. See knit, 3.
  • noun A small insect; a gnat or fly: applied contemptuously to persons.
  • No; not; not at all.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) The egg of a louse or other small insect.
  • noun (Bot.) a pretty annual European grass (Gastridium lendigerum), with small spikelets somewhat resembling a nit. It is also found in California and Chile.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A candela per square meter.
  • noun The egg of a louse.
  • noun A young louse.
  • noun slang A fool, a nitwit.
  • noun A nitpicker

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

  • noun a luminance unit equal to 1 candle per square meter measured perpendicular to the rays from the source
  • noun egg or young of an insect parasitic on mammals especially a sucking louse; often attached to a hair or item of clothing

Etymologies

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

[From Latin nitor, brightness, from nitēre, to shine.]

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

[Middle English, from Old English hnitu.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin nitere ("to shine")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English nite, from Old English hnitu, from Proto-Germanic *hnitō (cf. Dutch neet, German Nisse, Norwegian nit), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱ(o)nid- (cf. Scottish Gaelic sneadh, Lithuanian glìnda, Polish gnida, Albanian thëri, Ancient Greek κονίς (konís))

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Tin in reverse.

    November 2, 2007

  • "I was in Zurich last week, you nit!"

    -Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law

    It's a pity this corollary to the "louse" insult didn't come in til the 21st century. I, for one, plan to use it at the earliest opportunity.

    November 25, 2009

  • How do we know the Birdman's usage isn't just apocope of nitwit, of itself probably with no lousy pedigree?

    November 25, 2009

  • it was Vulturo--whose name just came back to me--and I like to think he means far worse than 'nitwit'

    November 25, 2009