- 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
Examples from the Web for nodding
When he says something, nod; this nodding will induce him to agree with you.Russia’s Gold Digger Academy
November 11, 2014
Over by the bed his wife and sister are nodding their heads.The Stacks: The Neville Brothers Stake Their Claim as Bards of the Bayou
John Ed Bradley
April 27, 2014
Keeping the same not-smile smile on your face, nodding quickly and answering with one word.Crushing Christmas: How to Win Every Argument
Kelly Williams Brown
December 24, 2013
Nodding his head as he watches the scene unfold, he flashes a thumbs-up.’90s Soap Star Antonio Sabato Jr. Is My Wingman
August 20, 2013
Those are “words to live by since then,” Christie recounted to the nodding audience.The Elephant in the Room: Chris Christie’s CPAC Dig
March 14, 2013
"For humane reasons," Demarest commented, nodding approbation.Within the Law
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
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.
- 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 nodding
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 nodding
In addition to the idiom beginning with nod
- nodding acquaintance
- nod off
- get the nod