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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 from the web for nesting
  • The boxes are designed to be nesting sites for solitary bees.
  • Another possibility is one my dad used successfully in our first house, when birds kept nesting right above our door.
  • Oil has also washed up on a nearby island that seabirds and turtles use as a nesting ground.
  • Perhaps they followed settlers who suppressed fire, allowing trees to grow and providing nesting pockets.
  • Another scientist found a nesting ptarmigan so tame it could be picked up and held.
  • Crews discovered that cellphone towers provide an ideal nesting environment for ospreys, a hunting bird common in these parts.
  • Don't hesitate to green bag and throw out bedding and clothing that show even the remotest signs of nesting.
  • Such aggressive cultivation can harm pollinators by, among other things, eliminating nesting sites.
  • Including seeing wild-turkeys, grouse, and other ground-nesting birds again.
  • Hummingbird feeders, nesting boxes, birdbaths and bird feeding tables are completely alien concepts to the average homeowner.
British Dictionary definitions for nesting

nesting

/ˈnɛstɪŋ/
noun
1.
the tendency to arrange one's immediate surroundings, such as a work station, to create a place where one feels secure, comfortable, or in control

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 nesting
adj.

1650s, "making or using a nest," past participle adjective from nest (v.). Of objects, "fitted into one another," from 1934.

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 nesting

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 nesting

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 nesting
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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8
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