- to make a slight, quick downward bending forward of the head, as in assent, greeting, or command.
- to let the head fall slightly forward with a sudden, involuntary movement when sleepy.
- to doze, especially in a sitting position: The speaker was so boring that half the audience was nodding.
- to become careless, inattentive, or listless; make an error or mistake through lack of attention.
- (of trees, flowers, plumes, etc.) to droop, bend, or incline with a swaying motion.
- to bend (the head) in a short, quick downward movement, as of assent or greeting.
- to express or signify by such a movement of the head: to nod approval; to nod agreement.
- to summon, bring, or send by a nod of the head.
- to cause (something) to lean or sway; incline.
- a short, quick downward bending forward of the head, as in assent, greeting, or command or because of drowsiness.
- a brief period of sleep; nap.
- a bending or swaying movement.
- nod off, to fall asleep or doze, especially in a sitting position: He was reprimanded for nodding off in class.
- nod out, Slang. to fall asleep, especially owing to the effects of a drug.
- give the nod to, Informal. to express approval of; agree to: The board gave the nod to the new proposal.
- on the nod,
- British Slang.on credit.
- Slang.drowsy following a dose of a narcotic drug.
Origin of nod
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- (intr, adverb) informal to fall asleep
- to lower and raise (the head) briefly, as to indicate agreement, invitation, etc
- (tr) to express or indicate by noddingshe nodded approval
- (tr) to bring or direct by noddingshe nodded me towards the manager's office
- (intr) (of flowers, trees, etc) to sway or bend forwards and back
- (intr) to let the head fall forward through drowsiness; be almost asleepthe old lady sat nodding by the fire
- (intr) to be momentarily inattentive or carelesseven Homer sometimes nods
- nodding acquaintance a slight, casual, or superficial knowledge (of a subject or a person)
- a quick down-and-up movement of the head, as in assent, command, etcshe greeted him with a nod
- a short sleep; napSee also land of Nod
- a swaying motion, as of flowers, etc, in the wind
- on the nod informal
- agreed, as in a committee meeting, without any formal procedure
- (formerly) on credit
- the nod boxing informal the award of a contest to a competitor on the basis of points scored
Word Origin and History for nod off
mid-15c., from nod (v.). Land of Nod "sleep" is a pun on the biblical place name (Gen. iv:16).
"to quickly bow the head," late 14c., of unknown origin, probably an Old English word, but not recorded; perhaps related to Old High German hnoton "to shake," from Proto-Germanic *khnudojanan. Meaning "to drift in and out of consciousness while on drugs" is attested from 1968. Related: Nodded; nodding. A nodding acquaintance (1711) is one you know just well enough to greet with a nod.
Idioms and Phrases with nod off
Fall asleep momentarily, doze, as in Grandma spends a lot of time in her rocking chair, nodding off now and then. This expression alludes to the quick involuntary dropping of one's head from an upright position when drowsy or napping. The verb nod alone was so used from the mid-1500s. Also see drop off, def. 1.
In addition to the idiom beginning with nod
- nodding acquaintance
- nod off
- get the nod