nick

A nick is a tiny cut or scratch. Your neighbor might be so proud and protective of his brand new car that even a nick in its paint would be deeply upsetting to him.

To make a nick is also to nick: you might accidentally nick your dog when you're cutting tangles and mats out of her fur, or nick yourself when you're gathering up pieces of a broken glass in the sink. Informally, you also nick someone when you cheat them out of some cash or nick something when you steal it. If help arrives "in the nick of time," it comes at the very last possible second.

Definitions of nick
  1. noun
    a small cut
    synonyms: notch, snick
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    type of:
    cut, cutting
    the act of penetrating or opening open with a sharp edge
  2. noun
    an impression in a surface (as made by a blow)
    synonyms: dent, ding, divot, gouge
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    types:
    dig
    a small gouge (as in the cover of a book)
    type of:
    blemish, defect, mar
    a mark or flaw that spoils the appearance of something (especially on a person's body)
  3. verb
    cut a nick into
    synonyms: chip
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    type of:
    cut
    separate with or as if with an instrument
  4. verb
    cut slightly, with a razor
    “The barber's knife nicked his cheek”
    synonyms: snick
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    type of:
    cut
    separate with or as if with an instrument
  5. verb
    divide or reset the tail muscles of
    nick horses”
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    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  6. verb
    mate successfully; of livestock
  7. noun
    (British slang) a prison
    “he's in the nick
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    type of:
    prison, prison house
    a correctional institution where persons are confined while on trial or for punishment
Word Family