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nest

[nest] /nɛst/
noun
1.
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.
2.
a place used by insects, fishes, turtles, rabbits, etc., for depositing their eggs or young.
3.
a number of birds, insects, animals, etc., inhabiting one such place.
4.
a snug retreat or refuge; resting place; home.
5.
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.
6.
a place where something bad is fostered or flourishes:
a nest of vice; a robber's nest.
7.
the occupants or frequenters of such a place.
verb (used with object)
8.
to settle or place (something) in or as if in a nest:
to nest dishes in straw.
9.
to fit or place one within another:
to nest boxes for more compact storage.
verb (used without object)
10.
to build or have a nest:
The swallows nested under the eaves.
11.
to settle in or as if in a nest.
12.
to fit together or within another or one another:
bowls that nest easily for storage.
13.
to search for or collect nests:
to go nesting.
14.
Computers. to place a routine inside another routine that is at a higher hierarchical level.
Origin
900
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- theme vowel
Related forms
nestable, adjective
nester, noun
nestlike, adjective
nesty, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for nest
  • If you're a gadget hound, it's likely every outlet in your home is a messy snake's nest of power cords and unsightly adapters.
  • They emerge about now, breed, then nest in holes whose entrances they seal with mud.
  • The way the branches overlap and interweave makes nest-building easier for birds, he says.
  • What fun it was to witness this pair build the nest and raise their family.
  • Place nest in center of plate, place scallops on top.
  • Here she is in the nest with six ducklings-and another three eggs are due to hatch in the next few days.
  • Shortly afterward, the hen gets an urge and climbs into the nest box.
  • But here there is only life on the brink: a nest in a brick wall.
  • Consider two lizards confronting each other over a mutually desired resource such as a nest site, a mate, or a morsel of food.
  • Or your department may be a nest of vipers in which, every time you move, someone bares fangs.
British Dictionary definitions for nest

nest

/nɛst/
noun
1.
a place or structure in which birds, fishes, insects, reptiles, mice, etc, lay eggs or give birth to young
2.
a number of animals of the same species and their young occupying a common habitat an ants' nest
3.
a place fostering something undesirable a nest of thievery
4.
the people in such a place a nest of thieves
5.
a cosy or secluded place
6.
a set of things, usually of graduated sizes, designed to fit together a nest of tables
7.
(military) a weapon emplacement a machine-gun nest
verb
8.
(intransitive) to make or inhabit a nest
9.
(intransitive) to hunt for birds' nests
10.
(transitive) to place in a nest
Derived Forms
nester, noun
nestlike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English; related to Latin nīdus (nest) and to beneath, sit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nest
n.

Old English nest "bird's nest, snug retreat," also "young bird, brood," from Proto-Germanic *nistaz (cf. Middle Low German, Middle Dutch nest, German Nest), from PIE *nizdo- (cf. Sanskrit nidah "resting place, nest," Latin nidus "nest," Old Church Slavonic gnezdo, Old Irish net, Welsh nyth, Breton nez "nest"), probably from *ni "down" + *sed- (1) "to sit" (see sedentary).

Used since Middle English in reference to various accumulations of things (e.g. a nest of drawers, early 18c.). Nest egg "retirement savings" is from 1700, originally "a real or artificial egg left in a nest to induce the hen to go on laying there" (c.1600).

v.

Old English nistan "to build nests," from Proto-Germanic *nistijanan, from the source of nest (n.). The modern verb is perhaps a new formation in Middle English from the noun. Related: Nested; nesting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for nest

nest

Related Terms

feather one's nest, love nest


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for nest

NEST

non-surgical embryonic selective thinning
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with nest
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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4
5
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