[ dawr-neyl, dohr- ]
/ ˈdɔrˌneɪl, ˈdoʊr- /


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

First recorded in 1300–50, doornail is from the Middle English word dornail. See door, nail Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for doornail

British Dictionary definitions for doornail


/ (ˈdɔːˌneɪl) /


(as) dead as a doornail dead beyond any doubt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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.