on the nail

Idioms & Phrases

on the nail

  1. Immediately, without delay, as in He paid us back on the nail. [c. 1600]

  2. Under discussion or consideration, as in The subject of the budget deficit has been on the nail for some time. [Late 1800s] The precise allusion in these expressions has been lost. Neither has any connection to hit the nail on the head (see under hit the bull's-eye).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: on the move
Next Definition: on the nose
Words Near: on the nail
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for on the nail
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing on the nail
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature