- 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.
- to settle or place (something) in or as if in a nest: to nest dishes in straw.
- to fit or place one within another: to nest boxes for more compact storage.
- to build or have a nest: The swallows nested under the eaves.
- to settle in or as if in a nest.
- to fit together or within another or one another: bowls that nest easily for storage.
- to search for or collect nests: to go nesting.
- Computers. to place a routine inside another routine that is at a higher hierarchical level.
Origin of nest
Examples from the Web for nest
Unlike Brunner, Remer was itinerant, and spent much time in that other nest of postwar Nazis—Cairo.Hitler’s Henchmen in Arabia
December 7, 2014
Mark Reay is a handsome model-turned-photographer who is homeless, living in a secret ‘nest’ on top of an apartment building.This Fashion World Darling Is Homeless
December 2, 2014
And an eaglet does not start off flying from the ground, but from the nest.
The two eaglets almost certainly would have died after a big storm wrecked their nest last year.
He found one, a male, maybe 50 yards from the nest with no obvious injuries.
The guillemot makes no nest, merely laying a single egg on a ledge.Yorkshire Painted And Described
The Egret settled to her nest again and the Pelican went on with the story.The Trail Book
She was shaking the nest of a field mouse from one of the side pockets.Her Father's Daughter
How sweetly he sang to the mother bird while she sat upon the nest!Opera Stories from Wagner
You saw no Sammons in that damned snake's nest, I'll be bound!In the Valley
- a place or structure in which birds, fishes, insects, reptiles, mice, etc, lay eggs or give birth to young
- a number of animals of the same species and their young occupying a common habitatan ants' nest
- a place fostering something undesirablea nest of thievery
- the people in such a placea nest of thieves
- a cosy or secluded place
- a set of things, usually of graduated sizes, designed to fit togethera nest of tables
- military a weapon emplacementa machine-gun nest
- (intr) to make or inhabit a nest
- (intr) to hunt for birds' nests
- (tr) to place in a nest
Word Origin and History for nest
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).