There are 2 definitions of nick in English:

nick1

Syllabification: nick

noun

  • 1A small cut or notch.
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    Synonyms
    cut, scratch, incision, notch, chip, gouge, gash; dent, indentation
  • 2 (the nick) British informal Prison.
    More example sentences
    • 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.
  • 2.1A police station.
    More example sentences
    • 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.
  • 3The junction between the floor and sidewalls in a court for playing tennis or squash.
    More example sentences
    • 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.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Make a nick or nicks in: he had nicked himself while shaving
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    Synonyms
    cut, scratch, incise, gouge, gash, score
  • 2 (nick someone for) North American informal Cheat someone of (something, typically a sum of money): he nicked me for fifteen hundred dollars
    More example sentences
    • 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 Steal: he’d had his car nicked by joyriders
    More example sentences
    • We first see the hero, Jamie, as a violent 18-year-old Gravesend thug who, having nicked a car, runs off with 15-year-old Lynsey.
    • Rather than nicking your car stereo, the thief of 2020 will be after your whole digital persona.
    • A top Navy Officer was hauled before a court martial yesterday after a laptop packed with military secrets was nicked from his car.
  • 3.1Arrest or apprehend (someone): I got nicked for burglary
    More example sentences
    • Surely the notoriously humourless Singapore police would nick us all, cane us publicly - our bare, welted bottoms would be splattered all over the Sun…
    • 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.

Phrases

in the nick of time

Only just in time.
More example sentences
  • 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.
Synonyms
just in time, not a moment too soon, at the critical moment, at the last second
informal at the buzzer, just under the wire

Origin

late Middle English: of unknown origin.

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Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kərf
noun
a slit made by cutting with a saw

There are 2 definitions of nick in English:

nick2

Line breaks: nick

Entry from British & World English dictionary

verb

[no object, with adverbial of direction] Australian /NZ informal
  • 1Go quickly or surreptitiously: they nicked across the road
  • 1.1 (nick off) Depart; go away: I got up and got dressed and nicked off

Origin

late 19th century: probably a figurative use of nick1 in the sense 'to steal'.

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