verb (used with object)

Nearby words

  1. nicholson, jack,
  2. nichrome,
  3. nicht,
  4. nicht wahr,
  5. nicias,
  6. nick-nack,
  7. nickel,
  8. nickel acetate,
  9. nickel belt ,
  10. nickel bloom


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

Examples from the Web for nicking

British Dictionary definitions for nicking




a small notch or indentation on an edge or surface
a groove on the shank of a printing type, used to orientate type and often to distinguish the fount
British a slang word for prison, police station
in good nick informal in good condition
in the nick of time at the last possible moment; at the critical moment


(tr) to chip or cut
(tr) slang, mainly British
  1. to steal
  2. to take into legal custody; arrest
(intr often foll by off) informal to move or depart rapidly
to divide and reset (certain of the tail muscles of a horse) to give the tail a high carriage
(tr) to guess, catch, etc, exactly
(intr) (of breeding stock) to mate satisfactorily
nick someone for US and Canadian slang to defraud someone to the extent of

Word Origin for nick

C15: perhaps changed from C14 nocke nock




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

Word Origin and History for nicking
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for nicking




A localized constriction in blood vessels of the retina of the eye.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with nicking


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.