- 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 nesting
The birds have returned to the beach for their annual nesting—and the uncommon people never left.Six Months After Sandy, the Rockaway Story Continues
April 29, 2013
In the Cavour high school in central Rome, mice run through the halls, nibbling on open wiring and nesting in the lockers.In Italy, Angry Students Occupy Schools
Barbie Latza Nadeau
November 22, 2012
They must be killed at the fountain head, in their nesting places.The Mayflower, January, 1905
Birds'-nesting and orchard-robbing are not in season together.The Bad Family and Other Stories
On one of these islands a small colony of herons were nesting.Wood Folk at School
William J. Long
They were late in nesting, for young veeries were out everywhere.Little Brothers of the Air
Olive Thorne Miller
He had his instincts, indeed, and at bird's-nesting they almost amounted to prophecy.Dream Days
- 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
- 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 nesting
1650s, "making or using a nest," past participle adjective from nest (v.). Of objects, "fitted into one another," from 1934.
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).