Main definitions of nick in English

: nick1nick2

nick1

Pronunciation /nik/ /nɪk/

See synonyms for nick

Translate nick into Spanish

noun

  • 1A small cut or notch.

    ‘a small nick on his wrist’
    • ‘Like the old rifles, the rear sight bears a tiny nick of a sighting notch.’
    • ‘There are few film defects such as nicks or blemishes to be seen.’
    • ‘The picture suffers from numerous source defects, including many nicks and scratches, a generally dirty appearance, and discolored film elements.’
    • ‘Even if those horns manage a gouge here or a nick there, a matador can always depend on antibiotics to stave off serious complications.’
    • ‘Exposure to rain or hail can cause nicks and scratches that dramatically increase the craft's radar signature.’
    • ‘They did not see much of any damage, just a few nicks and scrapes on those shuttle tiles.’
    • ‘Flippers, armpits, backs, and bellies are often covered with bites; some are large, open, and bleeding, but most are just small nicks and scrapes.’
    • ‘If there are any wires or struts for the tail, check them carefully for nicks and chips, and examine the ends, both the top and the bottom, for signs of rust or movement.’
    • ‘We have two tables with black slate tops polished smooth, except for a few nicks and chips perhaps 1/4 inch deep.’
    • ‘Most of the nicks, scuffs and gouges that currently mar the work are a result of human carelessness, such as carts and chairs banging into the walls.’
    • ‘Print wear and defects from the source materials are the biggest culprits here, with a fair amount of nicks and blemishes still remaining.’
    • ‘The grips seem to be impervious to most chemicals found on a gun cleaning table and don't show the nicks and gouges of hard use like wood or other materials.’
    • ‘It was marred with dozens of nicks and marks from fighting.’
    • ‘The blade was in perfect condition, no nicks or dents.’
    • ‘The buckles have a nice feel to them, and they're designed in such a way that the excess strap lies between the buckle, and the PC, thus preventing any nicks and scratches.’
    • ‘The prides came right out of the undergrowth and close enough to the vehicle for the researchers to observe the tiny nicks and scratches that help distinguish one animal from another.’
    • ‘A fair number of nicks and scratches remain as well.’
    • ‘Handle silver with care to avoid nicks and heavy scratches; knife blades and other metals can do damage if they come in contact with silverware.’
    • ‘Anyway, this is probably Uncle Scrooge's most precious possession, even though it must have nicks, scratches and is probably very worn.’
    • ‘It may be blue-worn and carry a bountiful collection of nicks and scratches, because it hasn't spent much time in the dresser drawer.’
    cut, scratch, abrasion, incision, snick, scrape
    View synonyms
  • 2the nickBritish informal Prison.

    • ‘he'll end up in the nick for the rest of his life’
    • ‘Letters Bernie Ebbers shed a tear or two as he was sentenced to 25 years in the nick for his part in the financial disaster that was WorldCom.’
    • ‘And I'm not sure my friend realised that councils have many other ways of getting their council tax and some of them can have far-reaching effects that go beyond a short spell in the nick.’
    • ‘We'll go and put a picket round the 'ville while they're in the nick.’
    • ‘Big Mick left after several gigs to serve a few years in the nick, so we got in Metal Ing.’
    • ‘From the soaps we're joined by Kim Medcalf, EastEnders jailbird Sam Mitchell, who escapes Walford nick to perform a classic track.’
    • ‘I turned up a slightly cynical, badly-dressed student and left three days later, after a short spell in Southampton nick, as the blazing-eyed, still badly-dressed eco-bore I am today.’
    • ‘At the height of the demonstrations we were called up from our South London nick to support the Norfolk guys.’
    jail, penal institution, place of detention, lock-up, place of confinement, guardhouse, detention centre
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A police station.
      • ‘he was being fingerprinted in the nick’
      • ‘Always in these movies the defendant looks cooked, until a last minute witness shows up at the nick, spurred on by ingenious detective work.’
      • ‘He ought to be retiring to the nick after all the dodgy warrants he signed for Inspector Fiend.’
      • ‘I'm Sergeant Peter Lees and this is PC Lee Peters from Westing nick.’
      • ‘In order to apply closure to the mayhem, a farmer, driven insane after the loss of his youngest son, arrives in the nick with assorted homemade weapons.’
      police station, station
      View synonyms
  • 3The junction between the floor and sidewalls in a court for playing tennis or squash.

    ‘The second semi final was a played at a furious pace with Victor Berg setting the tone of the game hitting the return of serve into the nick to win the first point.’
    • ‘Easdon would step in and punish with his volley, either for depth or occasionally guided crosscourt into the nick.’
    • ‘Then, almost in echo of Beachill's earlier performance, he hit a forehand pickup from the nick into the tin.’
    • ‘The ball sails again and again into the corner, drawn to the nick as if on an invisible thread.’
    • ‘Ball was up to the challenge and used his low hard drives into the nick to end many rallies of his own.’

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Make a nick or nicks in.

    ‘he had nicked himself while shaving’
    • ‘Does that mean that Gillette will have to start making blunter razor blades so they will not be culpable if we nick ourselves shaving?’
    • ‘And that was ok too, because, who didn't, every once in a while, nick themselves shaving?’
    • ‘The fake bills might even be nicked or slightly torn.’
    • ‘Readers recall an old friend here or there who nicked himself/herself with a razor blade 10, 15, or 20 years ago.’
    • ‘If the epidural needle nicks the covering of the spinal cord, there may be a small leak of fluid from around the cord, which can cause a headache when you sit or stand up.’
    • ‘In fact it's a function of rapid blood loss and consequent loss of consciousness, which in turn depends on optimal wound-channel volume and bullet fragmentation - both of which tend to favour nicking a major blood vessel.’
    • ‘Remove the pan from the oven, take off the lid and gently split the bird's legs away from its body, nicking the skin with a knife as you go.’
    • ‘They held their knives in our faces and I was nicked by one just to the left of my left eye.’
    • ‘His mate said ‘it's just a graze - he only nicked you.’’
    • ‘It appears he was nicked while being cut and it got infected - very badly.’
    • ‘A bio weapon delivery system could be your next-door neighbor, or the mosquito that nicked you before dinner.’
    • ‘They were small cuts on her shoulder from when she was training with her brother, he nicked her with his sword, she had forgotten about them until now.’
    • ‘He let himself be pressed back toward the door, barely blocking one blow after another, until finally the knight's sword nicked him in the side.’
    • ‘This round though, Clay was more composed as he glided out of the way and began to pump the left jab with enough accuracy to have Cooper nicked by Cooper's right eye.’
    • ‘He had felt the hot sting as the bullet grazed it, and another sting as a piece of broken glass nicked him on the cheek, but paid no attention to the blood as it ran down his face and arm and soaked his clothes.’
    • ‘He then swung again in a downward, diagonal strike to the left, nicking the man in the left shoulder.’
    • ‘Instead, Pristine barely dodges it and the sword only nicks her as it comes in between her neck and the strap of her bag, which contains the Crystal of Life.’
    • ‘She holds out a crossbow, ‘Don't try anything funny, this arrow is poisoned tipped, if it even nicks you, you will die in a matter of minutes.’’
    • ‘And if he nicked you bad enough to bleed, he'd dab a bit of toilet paper on his tongue and stick it to the wound!’
    • ‘The warehouse windows - the ones that weren't already broken by vandals - exploded outward and a small piece of glass nicked Chris above the eye.’
    cut, scratch, abrade, incise, snick, scrape
    View synonyms
  • 2British informal Steal.

    • ‘he'd had his car nicked by joyriders’
    • ‘A top Navy Officer was hauled before a court martial yesterday after a laptop packed with military secrets was nicked from his car.’
    • ‘With my children in tow, all that nicking traffic cones to furnish my bedroom had to end.’
    • ‘Curtain-twitching old grannies call the cops when they see someone nicking your car.’
    • ‘He couldn't make it because his car had been nicked.’
    • ‘It'll mean that if a fraudster nicks your credit or debit card, it'll be useless practising the signature on it as he'll need to read your mind for the PIN to get anywhere with it.’
    • ‘She didn't have any money stolen, it was only her identity that was nicked - and apparently that's not a crime.’
    • ‘I have no desire to read this book, but if I did, I would definitely nick it, or get one of the local thieves to nick it to order.’
    • ‘Although it claims it is impossible to say exactly how many mobile phones are being nicked it estimates that 700,000 were stolen last year.’
    • ‘Last year, 10,000 mobiles were stolen and two-thirds of those were nicked or robbed from kids.’
    • ‘In January a Government funded report found that 700,000 phones were nicked last year sparking a crime wave of theft and violence.’
    • ‘Do you go up to a victim of theft, nick their watch then get annoyed when they get slightly defensive?’
    • ‘I feel almost like a tourist - that's why I'm always nicking things from places we go, souvenirs.’
    • ‘And it also raises questions about where Reid gets his story ideas - like all good editors, he nicks many of them from where he can find them.’
    • ‘By nicking nectar and pollen from the native species they deny those insects the opportunity to perform the function of pollination and as a result some plants do not set seed.’
    • ‘After about four and a half hours of crab ruining my efforts by nicking my bait, I was starting to get a bit anxious as the tide was coming in.’
    • ‘The producers then said they wanted all of us out (we were in a house, Big Brother style) and I nicked all of the jewellery they'd given me to wear/promote while I was in the house.’
    • ‘Michael Azzerad nicked the title of his recent book about the American '80s music underground, Our Band Could Be Your Life, from a minutemen song.’
    steal, purloin, thieve, take, take for oneself, help oneself to, loot, pilfer, abscond with, run off with, appropriate, abstract, carry off, shoplift
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1nick someone forNorth American informal Cheat someone of (something, typically a sum of money)
      • ‘he nicked me for fifteen hundred dollars’
      • ‘They nicked me for eight grand for a fourteen-month course.’
      • ‘They nicked me for about $10 when they cashed my check two days before the due date and didn't post it till two days after.’
  • 3British informal Arrest or apprehend (someone)

    • ‘I got nicked for burglary’
    • ‘So clearly, even under the grotesquely inadequate laws of 2003, the police do not seem to have been significantly impeded in their ability to spot-check ID and nick people.’
    • ‘I would have nicked him too but there was no room in the police car.’
    • ‘The officers' racism had some impact on the way that they did their job - one said that he had nicked an Asian man for a traffic offence, but had let off a white woman who had committed the same offence.’
    • ‘He was nicked after one of the shop attendants recognised his voice.’
    • ‘You're nicked: A prisoner's eye view of the custody suit to mark the change in the way offenders are charged.’
    • ‘But he'd just been nicked for ‘recklessly discharging a firearm’ - surely he'd be inside?’
    • ‘Anyone who continued to use the site in search of illegal images, despite repeated warnings, was nicked.’
    arrest, apprehend, take into custody, seize, take in, take prisoner, detain, put in jail, throw in jail
    View synonyms

Phrases

    in the nick of time
    • Only just in time.

      ‘the rescue came in the nick of time’
      • ‘Conveniently, there were other people around, and I was rescued in the nick of time.’
      • ‘Riding bicycles, Hank's agents rescue Arthur and Hank in the nick of time.’
      • ‘The upshot is that the error was fixed, in the nick of time.’
      • ‘It wasn't a particularly tricky job, the spare part didn't have to be imported from Outer Mongolia and you weren't extremely lucky he caught it in the nick of time.’
      • ‘Looking back, I think it happened just in the nick of time.’
      • ‘I was, though, lucky enough to get into a National Guard unit in the nick of time, about a day before I was drafted.’
      • ‘The highwayman has been portrayed in films and books as a flamboyant and handsome figure, forever escaping in the nick of time on his trusty steed Black Bess.’
      • ‘Roland, meanwhile, lands in the nick of time to beat the enemy Saracen Sarwegur and save the city and all of France.’
      • ‘Devon noted the truck stopped just in the nick of time too.’
      • ‘Then, just in the nick of time, I read this… and swiftly reconsidered.’

Origin

Late Middle English of unknown origin.

Main definitions of nick in English

: nick1nick2

nick2

Pronunciation /nik/ /nɪk/

See synonyms for nick

Translate nick into Spanish

verb

no object, with adverbial of direction
  • 1Australian, New Zealand informal Go quickly or surreptitiously.

    • ‘they nicked across the road’
    1. 1.1nick offDepart; go away.
      • ‘I got up and got dressed and nicked off’

Phrases

    get nicked
    Australian, New Zealand informal
    • often in imperative Go away (used as an expression of anger or impatience)

      • ‘all these guys who want everything located in Sydney and Melbourne can get nicked’

Origin

Late 19th century probably a figurative use of nick in the sense ‘to steal’.