nick

[ nik ]
/ nɪk /

noun

verb (used with object)

Idioms

    in the nick of time, at the right or vital moment, usually at the last possible moment: The fire engines arrived in the nick of time.

Origin of nick

1475–85; obscurely akin to Old English gehnycned wrinkled, Old Norse hnykla to wrinkle

Related forms

un·nicked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for in the nick of time (1 of 2)

nick

1
/ (nɪk) /

noun

verb

Word Origin for nick

C15: perhaps changed from C14 nocke nock

British Dictionary definitions for in the nick of time (2 of 2)

nick

2
/ (nɪk) /

noun

computing an alias adopted by a member of a chatroom or forum; nickname

Word Origin for nick

short for nickname
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 in the nick of time (1 of 2)

in the nick of time


Also, just in time. At the last moment, as in The police arrived in the nick of time, or He got there just in time for dinner. The first term began life as in the nick and dates from the 1500s, when nick meant “the critical moment” (a meaning now obsolete). The second employs just in the sense of “precisely” or “closely,” a usage applied to time since the 1500s. Also see in time, def. 1.

Idioms and Phrases with in the nick of time (2 of 2)

nick


see in the nick of time.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.