nit

1
[nit]

noun

the egg of a parasitic insect, especially of a louse, often attached to a hair or a fiber of clothing.
the young of such an insect.

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.

a unit of luminous intensity equal to one candela per square meter. Abbreviation: nt

Origin of nit

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

nit

3
[nit]

noun Chiefly British.

a nitwit.

Origin of nit

3
by shortening
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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Historical Examples of nit


British Dictionary definitions for nit

nit

1

noun

the egg of a louse, especially when adhering to human hair
the larva of a louse or similar insect

Word Origin for nit

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

nit

2

noun

a unit of luminance equal to 1 candela per square metre

Word Origin for nit

C20: from Latin nitor brightness

nit

3

noun

informal, mainly British short for nitwit

nit

4

noun

a unit of information equal to 1.44 bitsAlso called: nepit

Word Origin for nit

C20: from N (apierian dig) it

nit

5

noun

keep nit Australian informal to keep watch, esp during illegal activity

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").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nit in Medicine

nit

[nĭt]

n.

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