a pocketlike, usually more or less circular structure of twigs, grass, mud, etc., formed by a bird, often high in a tree, as a place in which to lay and incubate its eggs and rear its young; any protected place used by a bird for these purposes.
a place used by insects, fishes, turtles, rabbits, etc., for depositing their eggs or young.
a number of birds, insects, animals, etc., inhabiting one such place.
a snug retreat or refuge; resting place; home.
an assemblage of things lying or set close together, as a series of boxes or trays, that fit within each other:
a nest of tables.
a place where something bad is fostered or flourishes:
a nest of vice; a robber's nest.
the occupants or frequenters of such a place.
before 900; Middle English, Old English
(cognate with Dutch, German nest;
akin to Latin nīdus
nest, Old Irish net, Welsh nyth, Sanskrit nīḍa
lair) ≪ Indo-European *nizdo-
bird's nest, equivalent to *ni
down (see nether
) + *zd-,
variant of *sd-,
ablaut variant of *sed-,
v. base meaning “sit” (see sit
) + *-o-
nestable, adjectivenester, nounnestlike, adjectivenesty, adjective