- a large-headed nail formerly used for strengthening or ornamenting doors.
- dead as a doornail, stone-dead: After midnight, the town is dead as a doornail.
Origin of doornail
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for doornail
Bethany is dumb as a doornail, and seems to bore Don about as much as his high-profile clients do.Every Woman Don Draper’s Hooked Up With on ‘Mad Men’
April 13, 2014
"Anyhow, Mr. Fenley is dead as a doornail," said Eliza firmly.The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley
The rat's dead as a doornail, and now all of us have got things to do, but fast!Dave Dawson at Truk
Robert Sydney Bowen
He had been a great King but he was deader than a doornail now.Seven O'Clock Stories
Robert Gordon Anderson
And when the troll saw the sun he burst—and was as dead as a doornail!The Swedish Fairy Book
"Dead as a doornail," he murmured to Chick, who also had approached.With Links of Steel
- (as) dead as a doornail dead beyond any doubt
Idioms and Phrases with doornail
see dead as a doornail.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.