GKNXT Encyclopedia
0 A B C D E
X Y Z #
N (volume 14)
N, n (noun)the fourteenth letter of the alphabet.
nab (verb)(informal) (nabbed , nabbing ) 1 to catch or capture. 2 to arrest (police nabbed the criminal).
nachos (noun)tortilla chips spread with a mixture, such as beans, beef, peppers, onions, etc, covered with cheese, and then broiled.
nag1 (noun)a horse, especially a small, weak, or old one (he rents out horses but they are just nags).
nag2 (verb)(nagged , nagging ) to keep on annoying or finding fault with (his wife is always nagging him/nag the boy into getting a haircut).
nail (noun)1 the horny growth on the tips of the fingers or toes. 2 the claw of a bird or animal. 3 a thin piece of metal with a pointed end and a flattened head, used for joining together pieces of wood (hammer a nail into the wall to hang the picture from). vb to fasten with a nail (nail a sign to the post).
nail file (noun)a small, flat file for smoothing and shaping the fingernails and toenails.
nail head (noun)the flattened end of a nail.
nail set (noun)a tool used to drive the head of a nail even with or below the wood surface.
nail-biter (noun)a situation or activity, such as a movie or sports game, that has such an uncertain outcome that it creates a lot of anxiety and nervousness. adj nail-biting
nailbrush (noun)a small, stiff brush for cleaning the fingernails and toenails.
naive, naïve (adjective)1 simple and natural, innocent (naive young girls). 2 ignorantly simple, too trustful (naive enough to believe he really was a prince). n naiveté
naked (adjective)1 wearing no clothes (naked when taking a bath). 2 uncovered (a naked flame). 3 plain, unconcealed (the naked truth). n nakedness
name (noun)1 the word by which a person or thing is known. 2 reputation (make a name for himself in the art world). vb 1 to give a name to (naming the baby Alice). 2 to speak about by name (name all the country’s presidents). adj 1 having a good reputation (a name brand). 2 carrying a name (a name tag).
nameless (adjective)1 unknown (a nameless poet of the twelfth century). 2 having no name (nameless graves). 3 wanting his/her name to be concealed (the giver of the money wishes to remain nameless). 4 too bad to be mentioned by name (nameless acts of cruelty).
namely (adverb)that is to say (only one student was absent, namely Peter).
nameplate (noun)a metal, plastic or wooden plate on which the name of a person, firm, etc, is engraved (polish the nameplate on the door).
namesake (noun)a person with the same name as another (her niece is her namesake).
nan (noun)a kind of flat bread of India made with white flour.
nana (noun)a child’s term for grandmother.
nanny (noun)a person employed to take care of children, a children’s nurse (their mother works and they have a full-time nanny).
nanny goat (noun)a female goat.
nanogram (noun)one billionth of a gram.
nanosecond (noun)one billionth of a second.
Nanotechnologystudy of nanite (see list of branches of science)
Naologystudy of church or temple architecture (see list of branches of science)
nap1 (noun)a short sleep, a doze (have a nap after lunch). vb (napped , napping ) to take a short sleep. caught napping taken by surprise (the police were caught napping and the bank robbers escaped).
nap2 (noun)the woolly or hairy surface on cloth.
nape (noun)the back part of the neck (hair cut close at the nape of the neck).
napkin (noun)a small cloth or paper used at the table to keep the clothes clean (a tablecloth with matching napkins).
nappysee diaper.
narcissism (noun)too much interest in a person’s own appearance, comfort, importance, etc. adj narcissistic n narcissist a person who is like this.
narcissus (noun)(pl narcissi ) a flower of the daffodil family, but with white petals.
narcotic (noun)a drug that causes sleep and eases pain (addicted to narcotics such as opium). Also adj.
narrate (verb)to tell (a story) (narrating his adventures in Africa).
narration (noun)a story, the act of telling a story.
narrative (adjective)1 telling a story (a narrative poem). 2 having to do with storytelling (her narrative technique). n a story.
narrator (noun)the teller of a story (the narrator in the book was the main character).
narrow (adjective)1 not broad, measuring little from side to side (a very narrow bridge narrow the street).
narrowly (adverb)barely, only just (narrowly escape death).
narwhal (noun)a type of whale with one large tusk.
NASAabbreviation for National Aeronautics and Space Administration the organization in the United States that deals with space travel and exploration.
nasal (adjective)1 having to do with the nose (nasal infections). 2 sounded through the nose (a nasal accent). n a vowel or consonant so sounded.
Nasologystudy of the nose (see list of branches of science)
nasty (adjective)1 unpleasant. 2 dirty. 3 disagreeable. 4 unkind. n nastiness.
natal (adjective)(formal) having to do with birth.
nation (noun)all the people belonging to one country and living under the same government (nations getting together to prevent war).
national (adjective)1 having to do with a nation (the maple leaf is the national emblem of Canada). 2 of concern to all the people in a country (national rather than local issues).
national monument (noun)a natural feature or historic site such as a mountain, canyon, old fort, etc, that is preserved by the government for the public to visit.
national park (noun)an area of scenic beauty or historical interest that is preserved by the government for the public to visit.
national seashore (noun)any of the coastal areas with beaches, fishing, etc reserved by the government for public use.
nationalism (noun)devotion to a person’s own country, excessive patriotism, the belief that national interests are more important than international interests.
nationalist (noun)a person who has great pride in and love of his or her country and considers it superior to others.
nationality (noun)membership of a particular nation (her nationality is French).
nationalize (verb),also nationalise (British spelling) to transfer ownership and control of land, resources, industry, etc to the national government.
nationwide (adjective)by or throughout the whole nation.
native (adjective)1 of the place where one was born (his native language). 2 belonging to a country (a native plant). n (now often considered offensive) an original inhabitant of a place.
Native American (noun)one of the peoples, and their descendants, that originally occupied North and South America before Europeans began to settle there. Also adj.
nativity (noun)birth, especially with reference to place, time, or conditions. the Nativity the birth of Jesus.
natural (adjective)1 not caused or altered by humans, occurring in nature. 2 born in a person (natural musical talents). 3 normal (natural in a boy of that age). 4 real, genuine (a natural blonde). 5 (music) neither sharp nor flat. n 1 (old) an idiot. 2 (informal) a person who is naturally good at something (as a singer he’s a natural). 3 (music) a natural note and the mark by which it is shown.
natural gas (noun)a gas that occurs naturally and that is often used for fuel.
natural history (noun)the study of the earth and all that grows on it.
natural resource (noun)a form of wealth supplied by nature, such as coal, oil, water power, etc.
natural science (noun)any of the branches of knowledge and study of nature, which includes zoology, chemistry, geology, etc.
natural selection (noun)the process by which a kind of animal or plant will take on certain features and not others to help it adapt to its surroundings.
naturalism (noun)1 action or thought based on natural desires. 2 the belief that the natural world is all that exists and that there is no spiritual world dealing with creation or control. 3 the belief that all religious truth can be gotten from the natural world.
naturalist (noun)one who studies plant and animal life (naturalists collecting wild flowers).
naturalize (verb),also naturalise (British spelling) to accept someone as a member of a nation to which he or she does not belong by birth (he was not born in the United States but he is a naturalized US citizen). n naturalization , also naturalisation (British spelling)
naturally (adverb)1 in a natural way (she’s naturally beautiful and does not need make-up). 2 of course (naturally he will be paid for the work he has done).
nature (noun)1 all existing and happening in the universe that is not the work of humans, such as plants, animals, mountains, lakes, etc. 2 the sum of those qualities that make any creature or thing different from others (the nature of the new drug). 3 the character of a person (a sweet nature). 4 kind, sort (the nature of his injuries).
naught (noun)(old or lit) nothing (his plans came to naught).
naughty (adjective)mischievous, badly behaved (naughty children naw-tee-ness/.
nausea (noun)1 a feeling of sickness as if needing to vomit (feel nausea as the boat rocked). 2 great disgust (vegetarians filled with nausea at the thought of eating meat).
nauseate (verb)1 to sicken (nauseated by the smell of the rotting meat). 2 to disgust (nauseated by the terrible murder).
nauseous (adjective)disgusting, sickening.
nautical (adjective)having to do with the sea, sailors, or ships (a nautical way of life).
nautical mile (noun)a unit for measuring distance at sea; about 1.2 miles, or about 6076 feet, (1.8 kilometers).
nautilus (noun)a sea creature living in a shell that twists round in a spiral.
naval (adjective)having to do with a navy or warships (he decided on a naval career because of his love of the sea/a naval officer).
nave1 (noun)the main part of a church where people are seated for worship (the nave in the church is between two aisles).
nave2 (noun)the central part of a wheel.
navel (noun)1 a little scar, sometimes shaped like a hollow, in the center of the belly, where the umbilical cord was attached (some women wear a jewel in their navel for decoration). 2 any centrally located part of a place.
navigable (adjective)that can be steered; that ships can sail through (navigable waters).
navigate (verb)1 to steer, to sail (a ship) (they needed a pilot to help them navigate their ship into the port). 2 to work out the correct course for a ship, aircraft, etc, and direct it on that course (looking for someone to navigate in the yacht race).
navigation (noun)1 the science of working out the course or position of a ship, aircraft, etc. 2 act of sailing a ship.
navigator (noun)a person who navigates (employed as a ship’s navigator).
navy (noun)the warships of a nation, their crews, and their equipment.
navy blue (adjective)very dark blue (a navy blue uniform).
Nazi (noun)a political party, or one of its followers, in Germany between 1919 and 1945 that promoted nationalism, racism, and political aggression. The party was dissolved after World War II in 1945. adj referring to this time, party, belief system, etc (under Hitler, there was much suffering in Nazi Germany). Also adj.
Neanderthal (adjective)of a form of early human being. n 1 a Neanderthal human being. 2 a crude, primitive person
Neapolitan (adjective)1 of Naples. 2 of various flavors and colors (Neapolitan ice cream). n 1 a person from Naples. 2 ice creams of various flavors served together, usually vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.
near (adjective)1 close, not distant in time or place (we didn’t bother catching a taxi as the station was near to our hotel a near accident). (preposition) close to. adv almost. vb to approach.
nearby adj, adv near, close by (she loved visiting the nearby shops).
nearer adv, adj, (preposition) less distant from (a planet nearer the sun than earth).
nearest adv, adj least distant from (Mercury is nearest to the sun).
nearly (adverb)almost (he nearly died/it’s nearly time to go).
nearsighted (adjective)short-sighted, having better vision for near objects than for distant ones (nearsighted and unable to see numbers on buses as they approach).
neat (adjective)1 tidily arranged (a neat room neet-ness nee-ten/.
nebula (noun)(pl nebulae ) a cloudy patch in the night sky, sometimes caused by a number of very distant stars.
Nebulaphobiafear of fog (see list of phobias)
nebulous (adjective)not clear, cloudy (plans that are rather nebulous/only a nebulous idea of the work involved).
necessary (adjective)needed, unavoidable, that cannot be done without (take the necessary classes ne-si-se-ri-lee/.
necessitate (verb)to make necessary (lack of money necessitated a reduction in staff).
necessity (noun)1 that which a person needs (have money only for the necessities of life). 2 the condition of being necessary or unavoidable (is there any necessity to employ more staff). 3 events forcing a person to act or behave in a certain way (necessity made him take a low-paid job).
neck (noun)1 the part of the body joining the head to the shoulders (broke his neck in the accident). 2 the narrow part near the mouth of a bottle. 3 a narrow strip of land joining two larger masses of land. neck and neck exactly level (horses neck and neck approaching the finish).
neckband (noun)a band worn around the neck.
neckerchief (noun)a large handkerchief or scarf worn around the neck.
necklace (noun)a chain of gold, silver, etc, or a string of beads or jewels, worn around the neck (diamond necklaces).
neckline (noun)the line formed by the edge of a piece of clothing around or nearest the neck.
necktie (noun)(usually tie) a band of cloth worn around the neck, under the shirt collar, and tied in the front (wear a black necktie at the funeral).
Necrophobiafear of death or dead things (see list of phobias)
Necroplanetologystudy of the destruction of planets (see list of branches of science)
nectar (noun)1 in Greek legend, the drink of the gods. 2 a sweet liquid found in flowers (bees collecting nectar). 3 a delicious drink (a cup of tea seemed nectar to the tired woman).
nectarine (noun)a type of peach with a smooth skin.
need (noun)1 a want (in need of food). 2 that which one requires (people with few needs). 3 poverty (families living in need). vb 1 to be in want of, to require (they need food and warm clothing/need help). 2 to have to (they will need to work harder).
needful (adjective)necessary (take the needful steps to avoid infection).
needle (noun)1 used in sewing, a small, sharply pointed piece of steel with a hole for thread. 2 the very thin hollow pointed part of a syringe used to administer drugs or take blood (the nurse struggled to insert the needle in a vein). 3 a short, pointed stick used for knitting wool. 3 a small metal pointer on a dial, compass, etc. 4 the long pointed leaf of a pine tree, fir, etc (needles falling off the Christmas tree).
needlepoint (noun)decorative sewing done with thread on canvas used for cushion covers, decorative hangings, etc.
needless (adjective)not needed, unnecessary (inflict needless suffering on animals).
needlework (noun)sewing done by hand with a needle such as crocheting, embroidering, knitting, etc (take needlework at school).
needy (adjective)poor, living in want (give food to needy families).
negate (verb)(formal) 1 to deny (negate his accuser’s statement). 2 to cause to have no effect (negating all their attempts to improve the situation).
negation (noun)1 a denial. 2 a saying no.
negative (adjective)1 saying no (a negative reply). 2 criticizing, but putting forward no alternative plan or idea (a negative report). n 1 a word, such as “no”, “not”, etc, expressing refusal or denial (answer in the negative). 2 the image on a photographic film or plate in which light seems dark and shade light.
neglect (verb)1 to fail to take care of (neglect their children). 2 to leave undone (neglected to mail the letter). 3 to pay no or little attention to, to give too little care to (neglect his work). n want of care or attention.
neglectful (adjective)heedless, careless (neglectful parents).
negligee (noun)a woman’s light, thin robe or dressing gown.
negligence (noun)carelessness, lack of proper care (a driver accused of negligence).
negligent (adjective)careless (negligent drivers).
negligible (adjective)too little to bother about, unimportant (the damage to the car was negligible).
negotiable (adjective)1 able to be settled or changed through discussion (a negotiable salary). 2 that can be exchanged for money (a negotiable check). 3 able to be passed (icy roads scarcely negotiable).
negotiate (verb)1 to try to reach agreement, to bargain (management and workers negotiating over pay). 2 to arrange, usually after a long discussion (negotiate a peace treaty). 3 to obtain or give money for (negotiate a check). 4 to pass (over, through, etc) successfully (negotiate the sharp bend). n negotiation n negotiator
Negro (noun)(pl Negroes ) (now old-fashioned and considered offensive) a person belonging to a dark-skinned race, especially from the area of Africa south of the Sahara.
neigh (noun)the cry of a horse, a whinny. Also vb.
neighbor (noun),also neighbour (British spelling) 1 a person living near (all the neighbors collected money to help her). 2 a person living next door (speak to her neighbor over the fence).
neighborhood (noun),also neighbourhood (British spelling) 1 the surrounding area or district (in the neighborhood of the lake). 2 a group of people and their homes forming a small area within a larger one (live in a quiet neighborhood of the city).
neighboring adj, also neighbouring (British spelling) close at hand, near (the neighboring town).
neighborly adj, also neighbourly (British spelling) friendly, helpful (people in the town are very neighborly).
neither adj, pron, (conjunction) not either.
Nelophobiafear of glass (see list of phobias)
Nematologystudy of nematodes (see list of branches of science)
Neolithic (adjective)having to do with the later Stone Age, during which people used polished stone tools, made pottery, reared stock, etc.
neon (noun)a gas that glows brightly when electricity passes through it (neon lighting).
Neonatologystudy of newborn babies (see list of branches of science)
Neopharmaphobiafear of new drugs (see list of phobias)
Neophobiafear of anything new (see list of phobias)
Neossologystudy of nestling birds (see list of branches of science)
nephew (noun)the son of a person’s brother or sister.
Nephologystudy of clouds (see list of branches of science)
Nephophobiafear of clouds (see list of phobias)
Nephrologystudy of the kidneys (see list of branches of science)
nepotism (noun)unjust use of a person’s power by giving good positions, etc, to relatives (he was accused of nepotism when his daughter got a job in the department that he managed).
Neptune (noun)1 the eighth planet from the sun. 2 in Roman mythology, the god of the sea.
nerd (noun)a person thought of as dull, awkward, etc, especially when they are very interested in computers or schoolwork.
nerve (noun)1 one of the thread-like fibers along which messages pass to and from the brain (damage a nerve in his back). 2 courage (he was going to walk along a tightrope but he lost his nerve). 3 (informal) self-confidence, impudence (she had the nerve to come to the party uninvited). 4 pl excitement, nervousness (she suffered from nerves before the exam). vb to give strength.
nerveless (adjective)without strength or feeling, feeble; calm and collected.
nervous (adjective)easily excited or upset, timid (too nervous to stay in the house overnight by herself ner-vus-ness/.
nervous breakdown (noun)an episode of mental illness.
nervous system (noun)all the nerve cells and tissues in a body that controls responses and behavior.
nestCollective noun for hornets (A nest of hornets) (see list of collective nouns)
nestCollective noun for machine guns (A nest of machine guns) (see list of collective nouns)
nestCollective noun for mice (A nest of mice) (see list of collective nouns)
nestCollective noun for vipers (A nest of vipers) (see list of collective nouns)
nestCollective noun for wasps (A nest of wasps) (see list of collective nouns)
nest (noun)1 a place built by a bird in which it lays its eggs and brings up its young. 2 the home built by certain small animals and insects (a wasp’s nest/the nest of some mice). 3 a comfortable shelter. 4 a set of things that fit one inside another (a nest of tables). vb to build a nest and live in it (birds nesting).
nest egg (noun)1 a sum of money put aside for future use (try to get a nest egg together for her retirement). 2 a real or fake egg put into a nest to get a hen to lay more eggs there.
nestle (verb)1 to lie close to (the children nestled together for warmth). 2 to settle comfortably (nestling down in the sofa to read a book).
nestling (noun)a bird too young to leave the nest.
net1 (noun)1 crisscrossing strings knotted together at the crossing places. 2 an extent of this used for catching fish, animals, etc, or for many other purposes (a butterfly net/put the ball in the net). 3 a fabric made like this (net curtains). vb (netted, netting) 1 to catch in a net (net several fish). 2 to cover with a net (net the fruit trees to keep off the birds). 3 to hit or kick into a net (net the ball).
net2 (adjective)left after one has subtracted the amount due for taxes, expenses, etc (earn $500 net per month). vb (netted , netting ) to bring in as profit (net a record annual profit).
nether (adjective)(fml or hum) lower (the nether regions).
nethermost (adjective)farthest down.
netherworld (noun)the world of the dead or of punishment after death; hell.
netting (noun)1 material made in the form of a net (wire netting to keep the chickens in). 2 the act or process of making nets.
nettle (noun)a weed covered with stinging hairs (stung by a nettle). vb to anger, to annoy (his remarks nettled her).
networkCollective noun for administrators (A network of administrators) (see list of collective nouns)
network (noun)1 anything in which lines, roads, railways, etc, cross and re-cross each other. 2 a widespread organization (a radio network).
neural (adjective)of a nerve, nerves, or the nervous system.
Neurobiologystudy of anatomy of the nervous system (see list of branches of science)
Neuroeconomicsstudy of human decision making and the ability to process multiple alternatives and to choose an optimal course of action (see list of branches of science)
neurological (adjective)having to do with the nerves (a neurological disorder).
Neurologystudy of nervous system (see list of branches of science)
neurology (noun)the study of the nerves. n neurologist
Neuropsychologystudy of relation between brain and behaviour (see list of branches of science)
neurosis (noun)a type of mental illness in which a person suffers from great anxiety, depression, and/or fear.
neurotic (adjective)1 in a nervous state, unreasonably anxious or sensitive (he was a neurotic man/the dog was behaving in a neurotic way). 2 suffering from a neurosis.
Neurypnologystudy of hypnotism (see list of branches of science)
neuter (adjective)giving no indication of gender.
neutral (adjective)1 not taking sides, neither for nor against, impartial (a country that was neutral in the war/require someone neutral to referee the match). 2 not strong or definite (neutral colors). n a neutral person or party.
neutrality (noun)the state of being neutral.
neutralize, neutralise (verb)to cause to have no effect, to make useless, to balance by an opposite action or effect (neutralize the acid).
Neutrosophystudy of the origin and nature of philosophical neutralities (see list of branches of science)
never (adverb)at no time, not ever (because of his nut allergy, the little boy can never eat peanuts).
nevermore (adverb)never again.
never-never land (noun)an unreal place or situation.
nevertheless (adverb)for all that, despite everything (he is young—nevertheless he is highly qualified).
neverthrivingCollective noun for jugglers (A neverthriving of jugglers) (see list of collective nouns)
new (adjective)1 never known before (the discovery of a new star a new car). 3 changed from an earlier state, different (a new job). n newness
new moon (noun)the first phase of the moon when it is between the earth and the sun with its dark side facing the earth.
New Testament (noun)the part of the Christian bible that deals with the life and teachings of Jesus.
newborn (noun)a recently born infant.
newcomer (noun)a person who has recently arrived (the newcomers to the club were welcomed by the older members).
newfound (adjective)newly gained.
newly (adverb)recently (newly laid eggs).
newlywed (noun)a recently married person.
news (noun)1 information about what is going on (we have no news of the missing child). 2 an account of recent events (listen to the news on the radio).
newsletter (noun)a printed sheet of news sent to members of a group, organization, etc (a newsletter sent to all members of staff).
newspaper (noun)a number of printed sheets (usually issued daily) containing the latest news, articles, advertisements, etc.
newsprint (noun)a cheap, low-grade paper used for printing newspapers.
newsreel (noun)a film showing recent events.
newsstand (noun)a stand at which newspapers, magazines, etc are sold.
newsy (pl newsies ) n (informal) a person, especially a child or teenager, who sells newspapers.
newt (noun)a small lizard-like creature that can live both on land and in water.
next (adjective)nearest, just before or just after in time, place, degree, or rank (live in the next street/the next day). Also adv, prep, n.
next of kin (noun)someone’s closest relative (contact the dead man’s next of kin).
next-door (adjective)in or at the next house or building.
nib (noun)1 the bill or beak of a bird. 2 the point of a pen (the nib of a fountain pen).
nibble (verb)to take small bites at (mice nibbling the cheese). Also n.
nice (adjective)1 pleasing (a nice day a nice sense of timing).
nicety (noun)1 the quality or the state of being nice. 2 exactness, precise detail (consider the niceties of the two firms joining together). 3 a very small difference (the nicety of the distinction).
niche (noun)1 a hollow place in a wall for a statue, etc (a niche by the staircase for the statue). 2 the work, place, or position for which a person or thing is best suited (find her niche in teaching/a niche in the market for luxury apartments).
nick (noun)1 the small hollow left when a piece is cut or chipped out of something, a notch (a nick in the door/a nick in his skin from shaving). vb 1 to cut notches in. in the nick of time just in time (we arrived in the nick of time to catch the train).
nickel (noun)1 a hard silver-white metal used for plating utensils and mixed with other metals because it does not rust (steel plated with nickel). 2 a five-cent piece.
nickel-and-dime (verb)1 to spend very little money. 2 to weaken, destroy, etc by the constant spending of small sums or repeated small actions against.
nickelodeon (noun)an early-twentieth-century theater to which the admission was five cents.
nickname (noun)a name used instead of one’s real name in friendship or mockery (William’s nickname is Bill). vb to give a nickname to.
nicotine (noun)the toxic oily liquid from tobacco that is addictive (fingers stained with nicotine).
niece (noun)the daughter of a person’s brother or sister.
night (noun)the time between sunset and sunrise; darkness (animals that come out at night). Also night time
night light (noun)a small, faint light burning all night, as in a hallway or child’s room.
night owl (noun)1 an owl active mostly at night. 2 a person who works at night or who generally stays up late.
night watch (noun)a watching or guarding during the night.
night watchman (noun)a man who looks after buildings, etc, by night (the night watchman disturbed the burglars).
nightcap (noun)1 a cap worn in bed. 2 a drink taken last thing at night (a glass of hot milk as a nightcap).
nightclothes (noun)clothes worn in bed, pajamas.
nightclub (noun)a place of entertainment open at night for eating, drinking, dancing, etc (they went to a night club after a meal in a restaurant).
nightfall (noun)evening, the approach of darkness (insist that the children are home by nightfall).
nightgown , nightdress , nightie ) n a loose gown worn to bed by women or girls.
nightingale (noun)a type of small bird that sometimes sings at night.
nightly (adjective)happening every night (listen to the nightly newscast). adv every night.
nightmare (noun)a frightening dream (a nightmare about being attacked by sharks).
nightshirt (noun)a long, loose-fitting, shirt worn to bed.
nightwear (noun)nightclothes.
nil (noun)nothing, zero (the score at the end of the football match was three-nil).
nimble (adjective)active, quick-moving (elderly people who are still nimble nim-bul-ness/.
nimbus (noun)(pl nimbi or nimbuses ) 1 a rain cloud. 2 the halo around the head of an angel in paintings.
nine (noun)the number 9, coming between eight and ten.
nine ball (noun)a kind of pool game in which the winner is the one who pockets the nine ball.
nineteen (noun)the number 19, coming between eighteen and twenty.
nineteenth (adjective)19th, coming after eighteen others. n one of nineteen equal parts.
nine-to-five (adjective)of or referring to the time between 9 am and 5 pm, the period of business hours on a weekday.
ninety (noun)the number between eighty-nine and ninety-one. adj ninetieth
ninja (noun)a Japanese warrior that is highly trained a spy and killer.
ninth (adjective)1 preceded by eight others in a series. 2 any of the nine equal parts of something.
nip (verb)(nipped , nipping ) 1 to pinch (nip the child’s arm). 2 to bite (the dog nipped him on the ankle). 3 to stop the growth (fruit trees nipped by frost). nip in the bud to destroy at an early stage (nip the conspiracy in the bud). n 1 a pinch (he gave the other child a nip). 2 severe frost or cold (a nip in the air). 3 a small drink (he had a nip of whisky).
nipple (noun)1 the point of the breast (a baby sucking at its mother’ s nipple during breast-feeding). 2 anything so shaped. 3 a rubber stopper with a small hole in it through which liquid may pass; a teat.
nippy (adjective)1 cold in a stinging way. 2 able to move very quickly.
nirvana (noun)1 in Buddhism, the state of being perfectly blessed after death and taken into the supreme spirit. 2 complete peace and happiness. 3 in Hinduism, a blowing out of the flame of life through reunion with Brahma, the god of creation.
nit (noun)a young louse or the egg of a louse or other small insect (she found nits in her child’s hair).
nitpick (verb)to find fault with someone or something in a manner that is finicky or minor.
nitrogen (noun)a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that makes up about four-fifths of the air. adj nitrogenous
nitroglycerin (noun)an explosive.
nitty gritty (noun)the basic or most important details of something (we must get down to the nitty gritty of the traffic problem).
nitwit (noun)a foolish, stupid, or silly person (he was such a nitwit to buy a second-hand car without testing it).
no (adverb)not ever; the opposite of yes; it cannot be so.
no man’s land (noun)1 land that belongs to no one (a piece of no man’s land between the two farms). 2 land lying between two opposing armies (the soldier was shot crossing no man’s land).
nobility (noun)1 goodness of character. 2 the class of nobles of a country (a member of the nobility).
noble (adjective)1 fine in character, honorable (of noble character). 2 of high rank (people of noble birth). 3 stately (of noble carriage). n a person of high rank. adv nobly
nobleman (noun)a man in the noble class.
noblewoman (noun)a woman in the noble class.
nobody (noun)1 no one (she was warned to tell nobody about the secret). 2 (informal) a person of no importance (she’s just a nobody in the firm but she tries to order everyone around).
no-brainer (noun)(informal) something so obvious or simple as to require little thought.
Noctiphobiafear of the night (see list of phobias)
nocturnal (adjective)1 (formal) happening at night (a nocturnal visitor). 2 active by night (nocturnal animals, such as bats).
nocturne (noun)1 a dreamy piece of music. 2 a painting of a night scene.
nocuous (adjective)harmful, poisonous.
nod (verb)(nodded , nodding ) 1 to bow the head slightly (she nodded in agreement/he nodded to his neighbor as he passed). 2 to let the head drop forward in tiredness (old ladies nodding by the fire). n a slight bow of the head.
nodal (adjective)of or like a node.
node (noun)1 the place where a leaf joins the stem. 2 the point at which a curve crosses itself. 3 a swelling or a roundish lump, as on a tree trunk or a person’s body (lymph nodes).
nodule (noun)a small rounded lump. adj nodular
Noël (noun)Christmas.
no-hitter (noun)a baseball game in which the pitcher allows the other team no base hits.
noise (noun)1 a sound (the noise made by a fire truck). 2 loud or unpleasant sounds, din (complain about the noise from the party). vb (fml or old) to make public (noising the news of his dismissal). adj noisy
noiseless (adjective)not making any sound.
noisemaker (noun)a person or thing that makes noise, especially for a celebration.
nomad (noun)1 a wanderer. 2 a member of a group of people who have no permanent home but move around constantly in search of food, pastures, etc.
nomadic (adjective)wandering (nomadic peoples).
Nomatophobiafear of names (see list of phobias)
nominal (adjective)1 existing in name but not in reality (her father is the nominal head of the firm but she runs it). 2 having to do with a noun or nouns. 3 very small compared to others (charge his son a nominal amount of money for the car).
nominate (verb)1 to put forward another’s name for a certain office (nominating him for captain). 2 to appoint (nominated her brother as her representative). n nomination
nominative (adjective)1 having the name of a person on it. 2 in grammar, of or in the case of the subject of a verb.
nominee (noun)a person who is nominated (several nominees for the office of president).
Nomologystudy of the laws; especially of the mind (see list of branches of science)
Nomophobiafear of being out of mobile phone coverage (see list of phobias)
non- pref not, the opposite of, used to give a negative meaning to a word.
nonagenarian (noun)a person who is ninety years old or between ninety and one hundred.
nonchalant (adjective)calm, unexcited, showing little interest, cool, without warmth or concern (nonchalant about the idea of going into battle). n nonchalance
nondescript (adjective)not easily described, not very interesting (wear nondescript clothes).
none (pronoun)not one, not anyone, no persons or things.
nonentity (noun)a person of no importance, a person of little ability or character (she considered the party to be full of nonentities and left early).
nonesuch (noun)a person or thing unequalled.
nonetheless (adverb)in spite of that, nevertheless.
nonexistence (noun)the condition of not existing.
nonflammable (adjective)not likely to catch fire or burn easily (nonflammable nightwear for children).
no-no (noun)(informal) something that is forbidden or unwise to do.
no-nonsense (adjective)practical and serious.
nonplus (verb)(nonplussed , nonplussing ) to puzzle completely, to leave speechless (we were nonplussed by her strange behavior).
nonsense (noun)foolish or meaningless words, ideas, etc (talk nonsense/it was nonsense to accuse him of lying).
nonsensical (adjective)meaningless, absurd (a nonsensical thing to do).
nonstop (adjective/adverb)without any stop or pause (nonstop pop music).
noodle (noun)a long thin strip of pasta used especially in Chinese or Italian cooking, often eaten with sauce or soup (chicken soup with noodles).
nook (noun)1 a corner (a nook by the fire). 2 an out-of-the-way place (shady nooks).
Noologystudy of the intellect (see list of branches of science)
noon (noun)twelve pm, midday (lunch at noon).
noose (noun)a cord or rope with a loop at one end fastened by a running knot (throw a noose round the ball to catch it/hang him with a noose). vb to catch in a noose.
Nootka (noun)the Native American people living on Vancouver Island, the language of these people.
nope adv, interj no, a negative reply.
nor (conjunction) and not, or not (I can neither go nor stay).
norm (noun)the usual rule, an example or standard with which others may be compared (his height is below the norm for his age/wage increases above the national norm).
normal (adjective)usual, according to what is expected, average (normal body temperature his normal routine). n normality
normalize (verb),also normalise (British spelling) to make normal.
north , northern , northerly (adjective)1 having to do with the north. 2 of or from the north (a northern accent/a north wind).
north (noun)1 one of the chief points of the compass. 2 (often cap) the northern part of the country. 3 the northern regions of the world.
North Pole (noun)the northernmost part of the earth, in the middle of the Arctic regions.
northbound (adjective)traveling north (the northbound train).
northeast (noun)and adj the point of the compass halfway between north and east. adj northeastern
northeastward (adjective/adverb)toward the northeast.
northern (adjective)in, of, to, toward, or facing the north.
Northern Lights (noun, plural)bright rays of colored light sometimes seen in the region of the North Pole (the proper name for the Northern Lights is the Aurora Borealis).
northerner (noun)(often cap) a person living in or coming from the north (Northerners moving south to find work).
northernmost (adjective)farthest to the north (the northernmost part of America).
northward (adverb)toward the north (trains traveling northward).
northwest (noun)the point of the compass halfway between north and west. Also adj.
northwestern (adjective)in, of, to, toward, or facing the northwest.
northwestward adv, adj toward the northwest.
nose (noun)1 the part of the face between the eyes and mouth that allows people and animals to breathe and smell (a boxer with a broken nose). 2 a sense of smell (dogs with good noses). 3 the part that juts out in the front of anything (the nose of an airplane). vb 1 to smell. 2 to find by smell (the dog nosed out the drugs). 3 to look or search around in (nosing about in her neighbor’s shed). 4 to discover by searching (reporters nosing out the details of the scandal). 5 to move slowly (the car nosed out into the traffic).
nose dive (noun)1 a nose-first dive earthwards by an airplane. 2 a sudden and great fall or drop (house prices took a nose dive). vb to take a nose dive.
nose ring (noun)1 a metal ring passed through the nose of an animal for leading it about. 2 a ring worn in the nose as a piece of jewelry.
nosebleed (noun)a bleeding from the nose.
Nosemaphobiafear of becoming ill (see list of phobias)
nosepiece (noun)that part of a helmet that covers and protects the nose.
Nosocomephobiafear of hospitals (see list of phobias)
Nosologystudy of diseases (see list of branches of science)
Nosophobiafear of contracting a disease or becoming ill (see list of phobias)
nostalgia (noun)a longing or feeling of fondness for things past (music that fills him with nostalgia for his native land). adj nostalgic
Nostologystudy of senility (see list of branches of science)
Nostophobiafear of returning home (see list of phobias)
nostril (noun)one of the two openings of the nose.
nosy (adjective)(informal) curious about the affairs of others (nosey neighbors).
not (adverb)in no manner; to no degree.
notable (adjective)worthy of notice, deserving to be remembered (notable events of the year no-ta-bi-li-tee/.
Notaphilycollection of bank-notes and cheques (see list of hobbies)
notation (noun)a set of signs or symbols that stand for letters, numbers, notes in music, etc.
notch (noun)a small V-shaped cut (cut a notch on the stick to mark the child’s height). vb to make a notch in.
note (noun)1 a short letter (write them a note to thank them). 2 a short written account of what is said or done (taking notes at the committee meeting). 3 a written explanation (a note at the foot of the page). 4 a single musical sound or the sign standing for it. 5 fame, good reputation (politicians of note). 6 a piece of paper money. vb 1 to put down in writing (the policeman noted the details of the accident). 2 to take notice of (they noted a change in his behavior).
notebook (noun)a book into which notes may be written.
noted (adjective)famous, well known (noted actors).
notepad (noun)a small pad of paper.
notepaper (noun)paper for writing notes or letters on (notepaper with matching envelopes).
noteworthy (adjective)deserving to be noticed or remembered (nothing noteworthy occurred).
nothing (noun)1 no thing, not anything (absolutely nothing in the cupboard). 2 a thing of no importance (her friendship is nothing to him).
notice (noun)1 a written or printed announcement (a notice on the wall forbidding smoking). 2 warning (change the rules without notice). 3 attention (he took no notice of the warning). 4 advance information (receive notice about a meeting). vb 1 to pay attention to. 2 to see. adj noticeable.
notify (verb)to inform, to make known (notified the police about the accident). n notification
notion (noun)1 idea, opinion, view (old-fashioned notions about what is women’s work). 2 a sudden desire (he had a notion to go to the seaside for the day).
notoriety (noun)bad reputation.
notorious (adjective)well known for something bad (a notorious criminal/a notorious accident spot).
notoriously (adverb)as is well known for something bad (a notoriously inefficient firm).
nougat (noun)a white chewy candy containing chopped nuts, cherries, etc.
noun (noun)in grammar, a word that names a person, place, quality, or thing.
nourish (verb)1 to feed, to give what is needed to grow or stay healthy (foods that will nourish the children/well-nourished babies). 2 to support or encourage; to foster (nourish resentment against his rival).
nourishment (noun)food, especially food of value to health (little nourishment in fast foods).
nova (noun)a type of star that suddenly increases in brightness and then decreases in brightness over time.
novel (adjective)new and often of an unusual kind (a novel suggestion/a novel way of dealing with the problem). n a long story of which all or some of the events are imaginary (she writes novels for a living).
novelist (noun)a person who writes novels.
novelty (noun)1 newness, the quality of being novel (the novelty of the idea). 2 a new or unusual thing (it was a novelty for him to take a holiday). 3 an unusual, small, cheap object (Christmas novelties).
November (noun)the eleventh month of the year, following October (Thanksgiving is in November).
Novercaphobiafear of your step-mother (see list of phobias)
novice (noun)1 a beginner (just a novice at skiing). 2 a person who has newly joined a religious order but has not yet taken vows (the novices in the convent).
novitiate (noun)1 the time spent as a novice (the novitiate of the nun). 2 a novice.
now (noun)1 at the present time (she is living in London now). 2 at once (Go now!).
nowadays (adverb)in modern times (nowadays the rate of unemployment is high).
nowhere (adverb)in no place (he was nowhere to be seen).
noxious (adjective)(formal) harmful, hurtful (noxious fumes).
nozzle (noun)a spout or pipe fitted on to the end of a hose, etc, to direct the liquid (the nozzle of the garden hose).
nuance (noun)a slight difference in meaning, color, etc (fail to appreciate the nuances in the arguments).
nub (noun)the most important point (the nub of the problem).
nuclear (adjective)having to do with the atomic nucleus (nuclear power stations).
nuclear bomb (noun)an atomic bomb or a hydrogen bomb, capable of destroying a large area.
nuclear energy (noun)the energy in an atomic nucleus.
nuclear family (noun)a basic family unit consisting of parents and their children living in one household.
nuclear physics (noun)the science of the forces within the nucleus of the atom.
nuclear reactor (noun)a machine for producing atomic energy.
Nucleomituphobiafear of nuclear weapons (see list of phobias)
nucleusCollective noun for physicists (A nucleus of physicists) (see list of collective nouns)
nucleus (noun)(pl nuclei) 1 the central part of an atom, seed, etc. 2 the central part of anything around which the rest grows up (the nucleus of the library).
nude (adjective)naked, wearing no clothes (a nude model for the artist). n a naked person (a painting of a nude).
nudge (verb)to push with the elbow (nudging the child to warn him to keep quiet). Also n.
nudist (noun)a person who believes that it is healthy to wear no clothes (a nudist colony).
nudity (noun)nakedness (object to the nudity of the characters in the play).
Nudophobiafear of nudity (see list of phobias)
nugget (noun)a lump, as of gold, silver, etc.
nuisance (noun)a person, action, or thing that annoys.
null adj. null and void having no legal force (a contract declared null and void by the court).
numb (adjective)unable to feel (fingers numb with cold numbed by the break-up of her marriage). adj numbing
numberCollective noun for mathematicians (A number of mathematicians) (see list of collective nouns)
numberCollective noun for questions (A number of questions) (see list of collective nouns)
numberCollective noun for statisticians (A number of statisticians) (see list of collective nouns)
number (noun)1 a word or sign that tells how many (a phone number). 2 a collection of several (persons, things, etc) (a small number of viewers). 3 a single copy of a magazine, etc, printed at a particular time; an issue (the current number of the magazine). 4 a piece of popular music or a popular song usually forming part of a longer performance (one of the numbers on her latest album). vb 1 (formal) to reach as a total (the spectators numbered a thousand). 2 to give a number to (number the pages). 3 to include (he is numbered among our greatest scientists).
numerable (adjective)that can be numbered or counted.
numeral (noun)a word or figure standing for a number (Roman numerals).
numerate (verb)(formal) to count. adj able to do arithmetic and mathematics (people who are scarcely numerate). n numeration
numerator (noun)in fractions, the number above the line, which tells how many parts there are.
numerical (adjective)having to do with numbers (numerical information/in numerical order).
Numerologystudy of numbers (see list of branches of science)
Numerophobiafear of numbers (see list of phobias)
numerous (adjective)many (numerous reasons for leaving).
Numismaticsstudy of coins (see list of branches of science)
Numismaticscollection of coins/currency (see list of hobbies)
nun (noun)a woman who joins a convent and vows to devote her life to the service of God.
nunnery (noun)a convent, a house for nuns.
nuptial (adjective)(formal) having to do with marriage (a nuptial ceremony). npl nuptials a marriage.
nurdlea small pellet of plastic
nurse (noun)a person trained to look after the young, sick, or aged (a hospital nurse). vb 1 to look after as a nurse (nurse the patient). 2 to give milk from the breast, to suckle (mothers nursing babies). 3 to look after with great care (nurse his tomato plants). 4 to keep in existence (nurse hopes of success).
nursemaid (noun)a woman hired to take care of a child or children.
nurseryCollective noun for plants (A nursery of plants) (see list of collective nouns)
nursery (noun)1 a room in a house for children to sleep or play in. 2 a place where young children are looked after (she takes the child to a nursery before she goes to work). 3 a place where young plants are grown for sale (buy tomato plants from the local nursery).
nursery rhyme (noun)a short, rhymed poem for children.
nursery school (noun)a school for young children of preschool age.
nursing (noun)the duties of or care given by a nurse.
nursing home (noun)a small private hospital for invalids, sick people, or old people unable to take care of themselves.
nurture (noun)care and training (nurture of children by their parents). vb 1 to care for (parents nurturing children). 2 to help to grow or develop (nurture ideas of independence).
nut (noun)1 a fruit with a hard outer shell and an edible kernel inside it (crack the nut). 2 the edible kernel (put nuts in the cake). 3 a screw that is turned on to one end of a bolt to fasten it. in a nutshell in a few words.
nutcracker (noun)an instrument for cracking nuts.
nutmeg (noun)the hard seed of a certain kind of tree, used as a spice in cooking (add grated nutmeg to the sauce).
nutrient (noun)a substance in food that is good for the body.
nutriment (noun)food needed for life and growth (soil low in nutriments for the plants).
nutrition (noun)1 food, nourishment (poor standards of nutrition). 2 the process of giving or getting food (in charge of the children’s nutrition).
nutritious (adjective)good for the health of the body (nutritious food/a nutritious diet).
nuzzle (verb)1 to push or rub with the nose (a horse nuzzling its owner). 2 to press close up to (she nuzzled her head against his shoulder).
Nyctohylophobiafear of dark wooded areas or of forests at night (see list of phobias)
Nyctophobiafear of the darkness or of night (see list of phobias)
nylon (noun)1 a human-made fiber for thread or cloth (shirts made of nylon). 2 a stocking made from this (a pair of nylons).
nymph (noun)in legend, a goddess of forests, rivers, trees, etc.
Nymphologystudy of nymphs (see list of branches of science)
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