There are 3 main definitions of nut in English:

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nut 1

Pronunciation: /nʌt/


1A fruit consisting of a hard or tough shell around an edible kernel: he was cracking nuts with his teeth
More example sentences
  • Rural people are allowed to collect medicinal herbs, mushroom and fungi, edible vegetables, wild nuts, and fruits from forests.
  • The nut's hard ash-coloured shell contains toxic substances similar to what is found in poison ivy and poison oak.
  • The fruit of this tree is a nut and is edible if roasted.
1.1The hard kernel of a nut: savoury snacks like crisps and nuts
More example sentences
  • We would not be restricted to salad vegetables, fruits and nuts, milk, raw fish, and steak tartare.
  • The nuts, olives and breadsticks are a nice touch.
  • Steer clear of digestion-challenging fatty foods, including butter, cream, olive oil, crisps and nuts.
1.2 (usually nuts) A small lump of something hard or solid, especially coal.
Example sentences
  • Crunchy cereals, pretzels, soy nuts, veggie chips, even beef or turkey jerky can help satisfy the need to work the jaw while filling the stomach.
Image of nut
2A small flat piece of metal or other material, typically square or hexagonal, with a threaded hole through it for screwing on to a bolt as a fastener: fix the new pipe and tighten the nuts the final wheel nut was tightened
More example sentences
  • It is a question that applies also to threads in metal, such as bolts and nuts and screw fasteners.
  • They ranged from the production of brass and other non-ferrous metals to screws, nuts, bolts, chains and anchors, pins, and jewellery.
  • The deck is fiberglass composite with balsa wood core and is securely fastened with nuts, bolts, and washers to the inward hull flange.
2.1The part at the lower end of the bow of a violin or similar instrument, with a screw for adjusting the tension of the hair.
3 informal A crazy or eccentric person: she would have written me off as a time-wasting nut
More example sentences
  • I got up this morning and was moving around like a crazy nut.
  • He's such a crazy nut, he would've done the naked pics for each team had he been there.
  • Then more whacko tourists would inundate their pristine land of home-grown nuts and fruitcakes.
British informal odd bod
Scottish informal radge
North American informal screwball, crazy, kook, nutso, meshuggener, wacko, wack
North American & Australian/New Zealand informal dingbat
3.1 [with adjective or noun modifier] A person who is excessively interested in or enthusiastic about a specified thing: a football nut
More example sentences
  • Well I don't know about that but if some religious nut, er, enthusiast wants me to be happy well, it's better than penile enhancement promos.
  • Not every person who is pro-war or anti-gun control is a pro-life, anti-gay religious nut.
  • As a professional nude nut however, Tim was faced with a dilemma.
informal freak, fiend, maniac, buff, -head, a great one for
North American informal geek, jock
South African informal fundi
4 informal A person’s head: he’s aiming to break a record by balancing a car on his nut
head, skull, cranium
informal noodle, noddle, nob, noggin, dome
British informal bonce, napper
Scottish & Northern English informal poll
informal, dated bean, conk
archaic pate, Costard, crumpet
5 (nuts) vulgar slang A man’s testicles.
6The fixed ridge on the neck of a stringed instrument over which the strings pass: the positioning allows the strings a straight path over the nut
More example sentences
  • The right-hand bridges usually carry the bass strings, which run across the soundboard to the nut on the opposite edge.

verb (nuts, nutting, nutted)

1 [with object] British informal Butt (someone) with one’s head: I thought he was going to nut me in the face
More example sentences
  • One of them grabbed my hand, so I pulled it away and he pushed me against a wall, and then he nutted me and I fell to the floor.
  • I could nut him and put him down, or keep negotiating and calming him.
  • I went up for the ball and got there first but one of their lads just nutted me in the wrong place.
2 [no object] (usually as noun nutting) archaic Gather nuts.
Example sentences
  • More affluent folks enjoyed nutting as recreation.
  • Bill Oddie said at the launch yesterday ‘We want everyone to get out and get nutting.’



do one's nut

British informal Become extremely angry or agitated: I hope my mum hasn’t heard about this, or she’ll be doing her nut
More example sentences
  • On the day of the incident he came home to a table full of banana sandwiches and ‘started to do his nut’.
  • It's not just his merciless cheeriness that's doing my nut.
  • I was before I came here, but someone in this computer lab is playing a Shania Twain album on a CD drive and it's doing my nut!

nuts and bolts

Pronunciation: /ˌnʌts ən ˈbəʊlts/
informal The basic practical details: the nuts and bolts of making a movie
More example sentences
  • Further detailed discussions on the nuts and bolts of the finance deal will now take place with the DfES.
  • At the same time he was always interested in practicalities, in the nuts and bolts.
  • He tends to hire ambitious people who have their eye on a startup and a knack for the nuts and bolts of practice.
practical details, basic details, fundamentals, basics, practicalities, essentials, mechanics
informal the nitty-gritty, the ins and outs, the brass tacks

off one's nut

informal Out of one’s mind; crazy.
Example sentences
  • There are new bands coming through, but no one else seems to realise that rock music is in the middle of a Zeitgeist just now, and kids who are 19 just want to get off their nut and go crazy.
  • If you, say, went off your nut and tried to fill up the Houston Astrodome with Blanco Countians, you'd have to clone each one seven times.
  • It's only after the money has been donated that he tells Lil, who pretty much goes off her nut.

a tough (or hard) nut

informal Someone who is difficult to deal with; a formidable person.
Example sentences
  • In the MacTavish Cup first-round replay, Loch Carron's difficulties against Kilmallie continued and they found them once again a tough nut.
  • While Spider-man, Daredevil, X-Men, Hulk and Blade were a slam dunk from an entertainment standpoint, the central figure of the current cinematic outing is something of a tough nut.
  • John Cena, the current WWE World Champion, is known around the world as a tough nut, but with the release of his new LP, he may be getting some respect as an MC as well.

a tough (or hard) nut to crack

informal A difficult problem or an opponent that is hard to beat.
Example sentences
  • He should prove a tough nut to crack over tomorrow's extended three miles.
  • Japan has proved a tough nut for Microsoft's console division to crack.
  • Nine-year-olds are tough nuts to crack, as Peter Loraine, head of marketing at S Club Juniors' label Polydor, points out.

use (or take) a sledgehammer to crack a nut

informal Use disproportionately drastic measures to deal with a simple problem.
Example sentences
  • The MoD was using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
  • The fact that 11 humps on a short stretch of country road (where, incidentally, it has never been established statistically that an overwhelming accident problem existed in the first place) is a case of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
  • Mark Oaten, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, warned: ‘Labour seems obsessed with breaking away the traditions of the jury system and is in danger of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.’



Example sentences
  • During these complex steps of ribosome biogenesis, parts of the leader rRNA nut-like sequences undergo transient interactions with sequence elements within the first 400 nucleotides from the 5′ end of the mature 16S rRNA.
  • The theca of Pentremites has a rather nut-like shape, and fossil Pentremites are sometimes inaccurately called ‘fossil nuts’ or ‘fossil hickory nuts’.
  • The tiny, bead-like amaranth grains have a hearty, nut-like flavor.


Old English hnutu, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch noot and German Nuss.

  • The Old English word nut is related to the Latin nux, also meaning ‘nut’, and to nucleus. The informal meanings ‘crazy or eccentric person’ and ‘person who is excessively interested in a particular thing’, both date from the early 20th century. They probably come from the informal sense ‘a person's head’. This latter sense is the one behind phrases such as do your nut, or get very cross, and is the root of nutty meaning ‘mad or crazy’. It is also the source of the verb ‘to nut’, or butt with the head, which is first found in the 1930s. See also fruit. A nutshell has been used since the late 16th century to symbolize compactness or shortness. Shakespeare's Hamlet says, ‘I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.’ The idea is thought to have come from the supposed existence of a copy of Homer's epic poem, the Iliad, which was small enough to fit into an actual nutshell, mentioned by the Roman scholar Pliny ( ad 23–79) in his Natural History.

Words that rhyme with nut

abut, but, butt, cut, glut, gut, hut, intercut, jut, Mut, mutt, phut, putt, rut, scut, shortcut, shut, slut, smut, strut, tut, undercut

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There are 3 main definitions of nut in English:

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Nut 2

Pronunciation: /nʊt/
Egyptian Mythology
The sky goddess, thought to swallow the sun at night and give birth to it in the morning.

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There are 3 main definitions of nut in English:

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(In the UK) National Union of Teachers.

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