- a dry fruit consisting of an edible kernel or meat enclosed in a woody or leathery shell.
- the kernel itself.
- Botany. a hard, indehiscent, one-seeded fruit, as the chestnut or the acorn.
- any of various devices or ornaments resembling a nut.
- a block, usually of metal and generally square or hexagonal, perforated with a threaded hole so that it can be screwed down on a bolt to hold together objects through which the bolt passes.
- Slang. the head.
- a person who is very enthusiastic about something; buff; enthusiast; devotee: He's a real circus nut.
- an extremely concerned or zealous person: My boss is a nut on double-checking everything.
- a foolish, silly, or eccentric person.
- an insane person; psychotic.
- Slang: Vulgar. a testis.
- the operating expenses, usually figured weekly, of a theatrical production or other commercial enterprise; a break-even point.
- the total cost of producing a theatrical production or of forming and opening any new business venture.
- Music. (in instruments of the violin family)
- the ledge, as of ebony, at the upper end of the fingerboard, over which the strings pass.
- the movable piece at the lower end of the bow, by means of which the hairs may be slackened or tightened.
- Printing. en(def 2).
- to seek for or gather nuts: to go nutting in late autumn.
- from soup to nuts. soup(def 7).
- hard nut to crack,
- a problem difficult to solve; a formidable undertaking.
- a person difficult to know, understand, or convince.
- off one's nut, Slang.
- Sometimes Offensive.foolish, silly, or insane.
- confused; unreasonable.
- mistaken or wrong: You're off your nut if you think such a plan can succeed.
Origin of nut
- National Union of Teachers
- a dry one-seeded indehiscent fruit that usually possesses a woody wall
- (not in technical use) any similar fruit, such as the walnut, having a hard shell and an edible kernel
- the edible kernel of such a fruit
- an eccentric person
- a person who is mentally disturbed
- a slang word for head (def. 1)
- do one's nut British slang to be extremely angry; go into a rage
- off one's nut slang mad, crazy, or foolish
- a person or thing that presents difficulties (esp in the phrase a tough or hard nut to crack)
- a small square or hexagonal block, usu. metal, with a threaded hole through the middle for screwing on the end of a bolt
- mountaineering a variously shaped small metal block, usually a wedge or hexagonal prism (originally an ordinary engineer's nut) with a wire or rope loop attached, for jamming into a crack to provide securityAlso called: chock
- Also called (US and Canadian): frog music
- the ledge or ridge at the upper end of the fingerboard of a violin, cello, etc, over which the strings pass to the tuning pegs
- the end of a violin bow that is held by the player
- printing another word for en
- a small usually gingery biscuit
- British a small piece of coal
- (intr) to gather nuts
- (tr) slang to butt (someone) with the head
Word Origin and History for off one's nut
"hard seed," Old English hnutu, from Proto-Germanic *khnut- (cf. Old Norse hnot, Dutch noot, Old High German hnuz, German nuß "nut"), from PIE *kneu- "nut" (cf. Latin nux; see nucleus). Sense of "testicle" is attested from 1915. Nut-brown is from c.1300 of animals; c.1500 of complexions of women.
Meaning "crazy person, crank" is attested from 1903, (British form nutter first attested 1958; nut-case is from 1959); see nuts. American English slang sense of "amount of money required for something" is first recorded 1912. The nut that goes onto a bolt is first recorded 1610s (used of other small mechanical pieces since early 15c.). Nuts and bolts "fundamentals" is from 1960.
- A dry, indehiscent simple fruit consisting of one seed surrounded by a hard and thick pericarp (fruit wall). The seed does not adhere to the pericarp but is connected to it by the funiculus. A nut is similar to an achene but larger. Acorns, beechnuts, chestnuts, and hazelnuts are true nuts. Informally, other edible seeds or dry fruits enclosed in a hard or leathery shell are also called nuts, though they are not true nuts. For instance, an almond kernel is actually the seed of a drupe. Its familiar whitish shell is an endocarp found within the greenish fruit of the almond tree. Peanuts are actually individual seeds from a seed pod called a legume.