To nail a lie
Nail Nail, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Nailed} (n[=a]ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Nailing}.] [AS. n[ae]glian. See {Nail}, n.] 1. To fasten with a nail or nails; to close up or secure by means of nails; as, to nail boards to the beams. [1913 Webster]

He is now dead, and nailed in his chest. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

2. To stud or boss with nails, or as with nails. [1913 Webster]

The rivets of your arms were nailed with gold. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

3. To fasten, as with a nail; to bind or hold, as to a bargain or to acquiescence in an argument or assertion; hence, to catch; to trap. [1913 Webster]

When they came to talk of places in town, you saw at once how I nailed them. --Goldsmith. [1913 Webster]

4. To spike, as a cannon. [Obs.] --Crabb. [1913 Webster]

{To nail an assertion} or {To nail a lie}, etc., to detect and expose it, so as to put a stop to its currency; -- an expression probably derived from the former practice of shopkeepers, who were accustomed to nail bad or counterfeit pieces of money to the counter. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • nail a lie to the counter — To expose it and put it out of currency, from the old custom of shopkeepers with counterfeit coins • • • Main Entry: ↑nail …   Useful english dictionary

  • nail a lie — nail a rumour/lie/british informal phrase to show that something is not true I think we need to nail these lies about the deal. Thesaurus: to try to show that an idea or belief is wrongsynonym Main entry …   Useful english dictionary

  • To nail an assertion — Nail Nail, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Nailed} (n[=a]ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Nailing}.] [AS. n[ae]glian. See {Nail}, n.] 1. To fasten with a nail or nails; to close up or secure by means of nails; as, to nail boards to the beams. [1913 Webster] He is now… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • nail a rumour — nail a rumour/lie/british informal phrase to show that something is not true I think we need to nail these lies about the deal. Thesaurus: to try to show that an idea or belief is wrongsynonym Main entry …   Useful english dictionary

  • Nail — Nail, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Nailed} (n[=a]ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Nailing}.] [AS. n[ae]glian. See {Nail}, n.] 1. To fasten with a nail or nails; to close up or secure by means of nails; as, to nail boards to the beams. [1913 Webster] He is now dead …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • nail — 1 noun (C) 1 a thin pointed piece of metal which you force into a piece of wood with a hammer to fasten the wood to something else 2 the hard smooth layer on the ends of your fingers and toes: Damn! I ve just broken a nail. 3 a nail in sb s/sth s …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • nail — nail1 S3 [neıl] n [: Old English; Origin: nAgl] 1.) a thin pointed piece of metal with a flat top, which you hit into a surface with a hammer, for example to join things together or to hang something on ▪ The key was hanging on a nail by the door …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • nail — [nāl] n. [ME naile < OE nægl, akin to Ger nagel < IE base * onogh, nail > Sans áṅghri , foot, Gr onyx, nail, L unguis, fingernail] 1. a) a thin, horny covering that grows out over the upper tip of a finger or toe b) a similar growth on a …   English World dictionary

  • nail — nailless, adj. naillike, adj. /nayl/, n. 1. a slender, typically rod shaped rigid piece of metal, usually in any of numerous standard lengths from a fraction of an inch to several inches and having one end pointed and the other enlarged and… …   Universalium

  • nail — /neɪl / (say nayl) noun 1. a slender piece of metal, usually with one end pointed and the other enlarged, for driving into or through wood, etc., as to hold separate pieces together. 2. a thin, horny plate, consisting of modified epidermis,… …   Australian English dictionary

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