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

  • noun An indehiscent fruit having a single seed enclosed in a hard shell, such as an acorn or hazelnut.
  • noun The usually edible seed of such a fruit.
  • noun Any of various other usually edible seeds enclosed in a hard covering such as a seed coat or the stone of a drupe, as in a pine nut, peanut, almond, or walnut.
  • noun A crazy or eccentric person.
  • noun An enthusiast; a buff.
  • noun Informal A difficult endeavor or problem.
  • noun Slang The human head.
  • noun A ridge of wood at the top of the fingerboard or neck of a stringed instrument, over which the strings pass.
  • noun A device at the lower end of the bow for a stringed instrument, used for tightening the hairs.
  • noun A small block of metal or wood with a central, threaded hole that is designed to fit around and secure a bolt or screw.
  • noun The cost of launching a business venture.
  • noun The operating expenses of a theater, theatrical production, or similar enterprise.
  • noun Vulgar Slang A testicle.
  • intransitive verb To gather or hunt for nuts.
  • intransitive verb Vulgar Slang To ejaculate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Loosely, a similar vegetable product, as a tuberous root (earth-nut, ground-nut), leguminous pod (peanut), or seed(physic-nut).
  • noun In general, the lower end or heel of the bow: opposed to point or head.
  • noun In Australia:
  • noun See the extract.
  • noun A daredevil.
  • To gather nuts: used especially in the present participle.
  • noun The fruit of certain trees and shrubs which have the seed inclosed in a bony, woody, or leathery covering, not opening when ripe.
  • noun In machinery, some small part supposed in some way to resemble a nut.
  • noun Same as chestnut-coal.
  • noun plural Something especially agreeable or enjoyable.
  • noun plural The testicles.
  • noun A cup made of the shell of a cocoanut or some other nut, often mounted in silver.
  • noun A bulbous plant, Iris Sisyrinchium, of southern Europe.

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

  • intransitive verb To gather nuts.
  • noun (Bot.) The fruit of certain trees and shrubs (as of the almond, walnut, hickory, beech, filbert, etc.), consisting of a hard and indehiscent shell inclosing a kernel.
  • noun A perforated block (usually a small piece of metal), provided with an internal or female screw thread, used on a bolt, or screw, for tightening or holding something, or for transmitting motion. See Illust. of 1st Bolt.
  • noun The tumbler of a gunlock.
  • noun (Naut.) A projection on each side of the shank of an anchor, to secure the stock in place.
  • noun vulgar slang Testicles.
  • noun a nut which is screwed up tightly against another nut on the same bolt or screw, in order to prevent accidental unscrewing of the first nut.
  • noun See under Buoy.
  • noun screened coal of a size smaller than stove coal and larger than pea coal; -- called also chestnut coal.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any leucosoid crab of the genus Ebalia as, Ebalia tuberosa of Europe.
  • noun (Bot.) See nut grass in the vocabulary.
  • noun a device, as a metal plate bent up at the corners, to prevent a nut from becoming unscrewed, as by jarring.
  • noun (Bot.) See under Pine.
  • noun (Bot.) a genus of cyperaceous plants (Scleria) having a hard bony achene. Several species are found in the United States and many more in tropical regions.
  • noun a tree that bears nuts.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any species of weevils of the genus Balaninus and other allied genera, which in the larval state live in nuts.


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

[Middle English nute, from Old English hnutu.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English nute, note, from Old English hnutu, from Proto-Germanic *hnutuz (“nut”) (cf. West Frisian nút, Dutch noot, German Nuss), from Proto-Indo-European *knu-, *kneu- (cf. Irish cnó, Latin nux ("walnut"), Albanian nyç ("a gnarl")).


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  • in addition to more mundane meanings, nut is also the name of a female egyptian deity of the night sky.

    January 10, 2007

  • On a guitar, the device (opposite the tailpiece) that anchors the upper end of the strings and forms the transition between the neck and the headstock.

    November 15, 2007

  • "Most of the young Masters already have their own personal nut free and clear. “Nut�? is the term for the amount of money you need salted away in weather-proof investments in order to generate enough interest to live comfortably in Greenwich on Round Hill Road, Pecksland Road or Field Point Road in a house built before the First World War in an enchanting European style, preferably made of stone featuring the odd turret, with a minimum of five acres around it and big enough to be called a manor. Every Master of the Universe knows the number."

    The New York Times, Greenwich Time , by Tom Wolfe, September 27, 2008

    September 29, 2008

  • In the sense of "headbutt" (which shows up at least once in the definitions above):

    Quintus was sporting a considerable plaster across a nose that looked damaged in just the way you would expect a nose to be damaged if you'd been nutted by someone who was trying to stop you from pistol-whipping them.
    Kate Atkinson, Case Histories (New York: Little Brown & Co., 2004), p. 282.

    May 30, 2016