Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

nit

1
[nit]
See more synonyms for nit on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. the egg of a parasitic insect, especially of a louse, often attached to a hair or a fiber of clothing.
  2. the young of such an insect.
Show More

Origin of nit

1
before 900; Middle English nite, Old English hnitu, cognate with Dutch neet, German Niss, Norwegian nit

nit

2
[nit]
noun Physics.
  1. a unit of luminous intensity equal to one candela per square meter. Abbreviation: nt
Show More

Origin of nit

2
1950–55; extracted from Latin nitor brightness; see nitid, -or1

nit

3
[nit]
noun Chiefly British.
  1. a nitwit.
Show More

Origin of nit

3
by shortening
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for nit

speck, insect, bug, particle, parasite, mote, minim, molecule, atom, bit, tick, smidgen, iota, minute, acarid, nit

Examples from the Web for nit

Historical Examples of nit

  • But Lee wuz dead in earnest an' growin' more excited ivery min nit.

    The U.P. Trail

    Zane Grey

  • Nor sie kuckt trucken, wie varstinert, in ihr Ssider; nit sie wint, nit sie dawent.

  • Das der gmein man, one eine offne Disputation, nit zu stillen was.

  • “Weiss nit,” he mumbled, beginning to stagger as the serpent struck its fangs into his vitals.

    The Cup of Fury

    Rupert Hughes

  • A fire not large enough to roast a nit, and a supper too small to fatten him beforehand!

    Paul Clifford, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton


British Dictionary definitions for nit

nit

1
noun
  1. the egg of a louse, especially when adhering to human hair
  2. the larva of a louse or similar insect
Show More

Word Origin for nit

Old English hnitu; related to Dutch neet, Old High German hniz

nit

2
noun
  1. a unit of luminance equal to 1 candela per square metre
Show More

Word Origin for nit

C20: from Latin nitor brightness

nit

3
noun
  1. informal, mainly British short for nitwit
Show More

nit

4
noun
  1. a unit of information equal to 1.44 bitsAlso called: nepit
Show More

Word Origin for nit

C20: from N (apierian dig) it

nit

5
noun
  1. keep nit Australian informal to keep watch, esp during illegal activity
Show More

Word Origin for nit

C19: from nix 1
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 nit

n.

Old English hnitu "louse egg, nit," from Proto-Germanic *khnito (cf. Norwegian nit, Middle Dutch nete, Dutch neet, Middle High German niz, German Niß), from PIE root *knid- "egg of a louse" (cf. Russian, Polish gnida, Czech knida; Greek konidos, genitive konis "egg of a louse").

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nit in Medicine

nit

(nĭt)
n.
  1. The egg or young of a parasitic insect, such as a louse.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.