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nod

[nod]
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verb (used without object), nod·ded, nod·ding.
  1. to make a slight, quick downward bending forward of the head, as in assent, greeting, or command.
  2. to let the head fall slightly forward with a sudden, involuntary movement when sleepy.
  3. to doze, especially in a sitting position: The speaker was so boring that half the audience was nodding.
  4. to become careless, inattentive, or listless; make an error or mistake through lack of attention.
  5. (of trees, flowers, plumes, etc.) to droop, bend, or incline with a swaying motion.
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verb (used with object), nod·ded, nod·ding.
  1. to bend (the head) in a short, quick downward movement, as of assent or greeting.
  2. to express or signify by such a movement of the head: to nod approval; to nod agreement.
  3. to summon, bring, or send by a nod of the head.
  4. to cause (something) to lean or sway; incline.
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noun
  1. a short, quick downward bending forward of the head, as in assent, greeting, or command or because of drowsiness.
  2. a brief period of sleep; nap.
  3. a bending or swaying movement.
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Verb Phrases
  1. nod off, to fall asleep or doze, especially in a sitting position: He was reprimanded for nodding off in class.
  2. nod out, Slang. to fall asleep, especially owing to the effects of a drug.
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Idioms
  1. give the nod to, Informal. to express approval of; agree to: The board gave the nod to the new proposal.
  2. on the nod,
    1. British Slang.on credit.
    2. Slang.drowsy following a dose of a narcotic drug.
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Origin of nod

1350–1400; Middle English nodde, of uncertain origin
Related formsnod·der, nounnod·ding·ly, adverbun·nod·ding, adjective

Synonyms

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

Related Words

slowoutquietsleepingyawningasleepblahcomatosedopeydrowsyheavyhypnoticinactivelethargiclistlesssluggishslumberoussomnolentsoporifictorpid

Examples from the Web for nodding

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "For humane reasons," Demarest commented, nodding approbation.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The old night watchman had a way of slipping up on one nodding.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • "Ah, I see what the mischief is," said he, nodding his head.

    Biographical Stories

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Nodding confirmation to the brilliant rejoinder, Janet fell again to work.

  • "My daughter is not at home; do come in," she said, smiling and nodding.


British Dictionary definitions for nodding

nod

verb nods, nodding or nodded
  1. to lower and raise (the head) briefly, as to indicate agreement, invitation, etc
  2. (tr) to express or indicate by noddingshe nodded approval
  3. (tr) to bring or direct by noddingshe nodded me towards the manager's office
  4. (intr) (of flowers, trees, etc) to sway or bend forwards and back
  5. (intr) to let the head fall forward through drowsiness; be almost asleepthe old lady sat nodding by the fire
  6. (intr) to be momentarily inattentive or carelesseven Homer sometimes nods
  7. nodding acquaintance a slight, casual, or superficial knowledge (of a subject or a person)
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noun
  1. a quick down-and-up movement of the head, as in assent, command, etcshe greeted him with a nod
  2. a short sleep; napSee also land of Nod
  3. a swaying motion, as of flowers, etc, in the wind
  4. on the nod informal
    1. agreed, as in a committee meeting, without any formal procedure
    2. (formerly) on credit
  5. the nod boxing informal the award of a contest to a competitor on the basis of points scored
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See also nod off, nod out
Derived Formsnodding, adjective, noun

Word Origin

C14 nodde, of obscure origin
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 nodding

nod

n.

mid-15c., from nod (v.). Land of Nod "sleep" is a pun on the biblical place name (Gen. iv:16).

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nod

v.

"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with nodding

nod

In addition to the idiom beginning with nod

  • nodding acquaintance
  • nod off

also see:

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