door nail

doornail

[dawr-neyl, dohr-]
noun
1.
a large-headed nail formerly used for strengthening or ornamenting doors.
Idioms
2.
dead as a doornail, stone-dead: After midnight, the town is dead as a doornail.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English dornail. See door, nail

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
doornail (ˈdɔːˌneɪl)
 
n
(as) dead as a doornail dead beyond any doubt

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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