A nest is a shelter or other structure that an animal uses for laying eggs or giving birth. If a bird is collecting string and straw and twigs in your yard, she's probably building a nest in a nearby tree.

Large birds of prey build nests that can be six feet high, in trees or on buildings, and up to three feet wide. Owls often make nests in tree hollows, while orioles build elaborate hammock-like nests that hang from branches. Foxes, mice, and raccoons also build nests, and people can make nests too, cozy spots to settle for a nap. As a verb, nest means "to build a nest or fit inside something larger."

Primary Meanings of nest

a structure in which animals lay eggs or give birth to their young
gather nests
a gang of people (criminals or spies or terrorists) assembled in one locality
a kind of gun emplacement
Full Definitions of nest

n a structure in which animals lay eggs or give birth to their young

show 7 types...
hide 7 types...
beehive, hive
a structure that provides a natural habitation for bees; as in a hollow tree
bird nest, bird's nest, birdnest
nest where birds lay their eggs and hatch their young
the nest of a squirrel
mouse nest, mouse's nest
where mice bear and raise their young
a nest in which spiders or insects deposit their eggs
aerie, aery, eyrie, eyry
the lofty nest of a bird of prey (such as a hawk or eagle)
hornet's nest, hornets' nest, wasp's nest, wasps' nest
habitation for wasps or hornets
Type of:
natural object
an object occurring naturally; not made by man

n a cosy or secluded retreat

Type of:
a place of privacy; a place affording peace and quiet

n furniture pieces made to fit close together

Type of:
article of furniture, furniture, piece of furniture
furnishings that make a room or other area ready for occupancy

v gather nests

Type of:
collect, garner, gather, pull together
assemble or get together

v inhabit a nest, usually after building

“birds are nesting outside my window every Spring”
Type of:
dwell, inhabit, live, populate
inhabit or live in; be an inhabitant of

v fit together or fit inside

nested bowls”
Type of:
embed, engraft, imbed, implant, plant
fix or set securely or deeply

v move or arrange oneself in a comfortable and cozy position

cuddle, draw close, nestle, nuzzle, snuggle
nestle, snuggle
position comfortably
draw close
pull towards oneself
Type of:
cling to, clutch, hold close, hold tight
hold firmly, usually with one's hands

n a gang of people (criminals or spies or terrorists) assembled in one locality

“a nest of thieves”
sleeper nest
a nest of sleepers awaiting a prearranged signal
Type of:
gang, mob, pack, ring
an association of criminals

n a kind of gun emplacement

“a machine-gun nest
“a nest of snipers”
Type of:
gun emplacement, weapons emplacement
an emplacement for a gun

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.