Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Nustle transitive verb [ Confer Nuzzle .] To fondle; to cherish. [ Obsolete]

Nut noun [ Middle English nute , note , Anglo-Saxon hnutu ; akin to Dutch noot , German nuss , Old High German nuz , Icelandic hnot , Swedish nöt , Danish nöd .]


1. (Botany) The fruit of certain trees and shrubs (as of the almond, walnut, hickory, beech, filbert, etc.), consisting of a hard and indehiscent shell inclosing a kernel.

2. A perforated block (usually a small piece of metal), provided with an internal or female screw thread, used on a bolt, or screw, for tightening or holding something, or for transmitting motion. See Illust. of lst Bolt .

3. The tumbler of a gunlock. Knight.

4. (Nautical) A projection on each side of the shank of an anchor, to secure the stock in place.

Check nut , Jam nut , Lock nut , a nut which is screwed up tightly against another nut on the same bolt or screw, in order to prevent accidental unscrewing of the first nut. -- Nut buoy . See under Buoy . -- Nut coal , screened coal of a size smaller than stove coal and larger than pea coal; -- called also chestnut coal . - - Nut crab (Zoology) , any leucosoid crab of the genus Ebalia as, Ebalia tuberosa of Europe. -- Nut grass (Botany) , a plant of the Sedge family ( Cyperus rotundus , var. Hydra ), which has slender rootstocks bearing small, nutlike tubers, by which the plant multiplies exceedingly, especially in cotton fields. -- Nut lock , a device, as a metal plate bent up at the corners, to prevent a nut from becoming unscrewed, as by jarring. -- Nut pine . (Botany) See under Pine . -- Nut rush (Botany) , a genus of cyperaceous plants ( Scleria ) having a hard bony achene. Several species are found in the United States and many more in tropical regions. -- Nut tree , a tree that bears nuts. -- Nut weevil (Zoology) , any species of weevils of the genus Balaninus and other allied genera, which in the larval state live in nuts.

Nut intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Nutted ; present participle & verbal noun Nutting .] To gather nuts.

Nut-brown adjective Brown as a nut long kept and dried. "The spicy nutbrown ale." Milton.

Nutant adjective [ Latin nutans , present participle of nutare to nod, v. intens. from nuere (in comp.) to nod; confer Greek ....] Nodding; having the top bent downward.

Nutation noun [ Latin nutatio a nodding, from nutare to nod: confer French nutation .]


1. The act of nodding.

So from the midmost the nutation spreads,
Round and more round, o'er all the sea of heads.
Pope.

2. (Astron.) A very small libratory motion of the earth's axis, by which its inclination to the plane of the ecliptic is constantly varying by a small amount.

3. (Botany) (a) The motion of a flower in following the apparent movement of the sun, from the east in the morning to the west in the evening. (b) Circumnutation.

Nutbreaker noun (Zoology) (a) The European nuthatch. (b) The nutcracker.

Nutcracker noun
1. An instrument for cracking nuts.

2. (Zoology) (a) A European bird ( Nucifraga caryocatactes ), allied to the magpie and crow. Its color is dark brown, spotted with white. It feeds on nuts, seeds, and insects. (b) The American, or Clarke's, nutcracker ( Picicorvus Columbianus ) of Western North America.

Nutgall noun A more or less round gall resembling a nut, esp. one of those produced on the oak and used in the arts. See Gall , Gallnut .

Nuthatch noun [ Middle English nuthake . See 2d Hack .] (Zoology) Any one of several species of birds of the genus Sitta , as the European species ( Sitta Europæa ). The white-breasted nuthatch ( S. Carolinensis ), the red-breasted nuthatch ( S. Canadensis ), the pygmy nuthatch ( S. pygmæa ), and others, are American.

Nuthook noun
1. A hook at the end of a pole to pull down boughs for gathering the nuts.

2. A thief who steals by means of a hook; also, a bailiff who hooks or seizes malefactors. Shak.

Nutjobber noun (Zoology) The nuthatch. [ Prov. Eng.]

Nutlet noun (Botany) A small nut; also, the stone of a drupe.

Nutmeg noun [ Middle English notemuge ; note nut + Old French muge musk, of the same origin as English musk ; confer Old French noix muguette nutmeg, French noix muscade . See Nut , and Musk .] (Botany) The kernel of the fruit of the nutmeg tree ( Myristica fragrans ), a native of the Molucca Islands, but cultivated elsewhere in the tropics.

» This fruit is a nearly spherical drupe, of the size of a pear, of a yellowish color without and almost white within. This opens into two nearly equal longitudinal valves, inclosing the nut surrounded by its aril, which is mace The nutmeg is an aromatic, very grateful to the taste and smell, and much used in cookery. Other species of Myristica yield nutmegs of inferior quality.

American , Calabash , or Jamaica , nutmeg , the fruit of a tropical shrub ( Monodora Myristica ). It is about the size of an orange, and contains many aromatic seeds imbedded in pulp. -- Brazilian nutmeg , the fruit of a lauraceous tree, Cryptocarya moschata . -- California nutmeg , tree of the Yew family ( Torreya Californica ), growing in the Western United States, and having a seed which resembles a nutmeg in appearance, but is strongly impregnated with turpentine. -- Clove nutmeg , the Ravensara aromatica , a laura ceous tree of Madagascar. The foliage is used as a spice, but the seed is acrid and caustic. -- Jamaica nutmeg . See American nutmeg (above). -- Nutmeg bird (Zoology) , an Indian finch ( Munia punctularia ). -- Nutmeg butter , a solid oil extracted from the nutmeg by expression. -- Nutmeg flower (Botany) , a ranunculaceous herb ( Nigella sativa ) with small black aromatic seeds, which are used medicinally and for excluding moths from furs and clothing. -- Nutmeg liver (Medicine) , a name applied to the liver, when, as the result of heart or lung disease, it undergoes congestion and pigmentation about the central veins of its lobules, giving it an appearance resembling that of a nutmeg. -- Nutmeg melon (Botany) , a small variety of muskmelon of a rich flavor. -- Nutmeg pigeon (Zoology) , any one of several species of pigeons of the genus Myristicivora , native of the East Indies and Australia. The color is usually white, or cream-white, with black on the wings and tail. -- Nutmeg wood (Botany) , the wood of the Palmyra palm. -- Peruvian nutmeg , the aromatic seed of a South American tree ( Laurelia sempervirens ). -- Plume nutmeg (Botany) , a spicy tree of Australia ( Atherosperma moschata ).

Nutmegged adjective Seasoned with nutmeg.

Nutpecker noun (Zoology) The nuthatch.

Nutria noun [ Spanish nutria an otter, from Latin lutra , lytra .] The fur of the coypu. See Coypu .

Nutrication noun [ Latin nutricatio , from nutricare , nutricari , to suckle, nourish, from nutrix a nurse.] The act or manner of feeding. [ Obsolete] Sir T. Browne.

Nutrient adjective [ Latin nutriens , present participle of nutrire . See Nourish .] Nutritious; nourishing; promoting growth. -- noun Any substance which has nutritious qualities, i. e. , which nourishes or promotes growth.

Nutriment noun [ Latin nutrimentum , from nutrire to nourish. See Nourish .]


1. That which nourishes; anything which promotes growth and repairs the natural waste of animal or vegetable life; food; aliment.

The stomach returns what it has received, in strength and nutriment diffused into all parts of the body.
South.

2. That which promotes development or growth.

Is not virtue in mankind
The nutriment that feeds the mind ?
Swift.

Nutrimental adjective Nutritious.

Nutritial adjective Pertaining to, or connected with, nutrition; nutritious. [ Obsolete] Chapman.

Nutrition noun [ Confer French nutrition . See Nutritious .]


1. (Physiol.) In the broadest sense, a process or series of processes by which the living organism as a whole (or its component parts or organs) is maintained in its normal condition of life and growth.

» In this wide sense it comprehends digestion , absorption , circulation , assimilation , etc., in fact all of the steps by which the nutritive matter of the food is fitted for incorporation with the different tissues, and the changes which it undergoes after its assimilation, prior to its excretion. See Metabolism .

2. (Physiol.) In a more limited sense, the process by which the living tissues take up, from the blood, matters necessary either for their repair or for the performance of their healthy functions.

3. That which nourishes; nutriment.

Fixed like a plant, on his peculiar spot,
To draw nutrition , propagate, and rot.
Pope.

Nutritional adjective Of or pertaining to nutrition; as, nutritional changes.

Nutritious adjective [ Latin nutricius , nutritius , from nutrix , -icis , a nurse, nutrire to nourish. See Nurse , Nourish .] Nourishing; promoting growth, or preventing decay; alimental. -- Nu*tri"tious*ly , adverb -- Nu*tri"tious*ness , noun

Nutritive adjective [ Confer French nutritif .] Of or pertaining to nutrition; as, the nutritive functions; having the quality of nourishing; nutritious; nutrimental; alimental; as, nutritive food or berries.

Nutritive plasma . (Biol.) See Idioplasma . -- Nutritive polyp (Zoology) , any one of the zooids of a compound hydroid, or coral, which has a mouth and digestive cavity.

-- Nu"tri*tive*ly , adverb -- Nu"tri*tive*ness , noun

Nutriture noun [ Latin nutritura , from nutrir... to nourish.] Nutrition; nourishment. [ Obsolete] Harvey.

Nutshell noun
1. The shell or hard external covering in which the kernel of a nut is inclosed.

2. Hence, a thing of little compass, or of little value.

3. (Zoology) A shell of the genus Nucula.

To be, or lie , in a nutshell , to be within a small compass; to admit of very brief or simple determination or statement. "The remedy lay in a nutshell ." Macaulay.

Nutter noun A gatherer of nuts.

Nutting noun The act of gathering nuts.

Nutty adjective
1. Abounding in nuts.

2. Having a flavor like that of nuts; as, nutty wine.

Nux vomica [ New Latin , from Latin nux ... nut + vomere to vomit.] The seed of Strychnos Nuxvomica , a tree which abounds on the Malabar and Coromandel coasts of the East Indies. From this seed the deadly poisons known as strychnine and brucine are obtained. The seeds are sometimes called Quaker buttons .

Nuzzle transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Nuzzied ; present participle & verbal noun Nuzzling .] [ See Noursle .]


1. To noursle or nurse; to foster; to bring up. [ Obsolete]

The people had been nuzzled in idolatry.
Milton.

2. [ Perh. a corruption of nestle . Confer Nustle .] To nestle; to house, as in a nest.

Nuzzle intransitive verb [ Dim. from nose . See Nozzle .]


1. To work with the nose, like a swine in the mud.

And nuzzling in his flank, the loving swine
Sheathed, unaware, the tusk in his soft groin.
Shak.

He charged through an army of lawyers, sometimes . . . nuzzling like an eel in the mud.
Arbuthnot.

2. To go with head poised like a swine, with nose down.

Sir Roger shook his ears, and nuzzled along.
Arbuthnot.

3. [ Confer Nuzzle , transitive verb , 2.] To hide the head, as a child in the mother's bosom; to nestle.

4. To loiter; to idle. [ Prov. Eng.] Halliwell.

Ny [ Contr. from ne I .] Not I; nor I. [ Obsolete]

Ny, Nye adjective & adverb Nigh. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Nyas noun See Nias .

Nyctalopia noun [ Latin nyctalopia , from nyctalops a nyctalops, Greek .... Greek ... meant, a person affected either with day blindness or with night blindness, and in the former case was derived from ..., ..., night + ..., ..., the eye; in the latter, from ... + ... blind + ....] (Medicine) (a) A disease of the eye, in consequence of which the patient can see well in a faint light or at twilight, but is unable to see during the day or in a strong light; day blindness. (b) See Moonblink .

» Some writers (as Quain) use the word in the opposite sense, night blindness. See Hemeralopia .

Nyctalops noun [ Latin , from Greek ....] One afflicted with nyctalopia.

Nyctalopy noun Same as Nyctalopia .

Nycthemeron noun [ Greek ...; ..., ..., night + ... day.] The natural day and night, or space of twenty-four hours.

Nyctibune noun (Zoology) A South American bird of the genus Nyctibius , allied to the goatsuckers.

Nyctitropic adjective [ From Greek ..., ..., night + ... turning.] (Botany) Turning or bending at night into special positions.

» Nyctitropic movements of plants usually consist in a folding or drooping of the leaves, the advantage being in lessening the radiation of heat.

Nyctitropism noun [ From Greek ..., ..., night + ... to turn.] (Plant Physiol.) The tendency of certain plant organs, as leaves, to assume special "sleeping" positions or make curvatures under the influence of darkness. It is well illustrated in the leaflets of clover and other leguminous plants.

Nyctophile noun [ Greek ..., ..., night + ... to love.] (Zoology) Any Australian bat of the genus Nyctophilus , having a very simple nasal appendage.

Nye noun [ Prob. from French nid nest, brood, Latin nidus nest. See Nest , and confer Eye brood, Nide .] A brood or flock of pheasants.

Nyentek noun (Zoology) A carnivorous mammal ( Helictis moscatus , or H. orientalis ), native of Eastern Asia and the Indies. It has a dorsal white stripe, and another one across the shoulders. It has a strong musky odor.

Nylghau, Nylgau noun [ Hind. & Persian nīlgāw , prop., a blue cow; Persian nīl blue + gāw cow. See Lilac , and Cow the animal.] (Zoology) A large Asiatic antelope ( Boselaphus, or Portax, tragocamelus ), found in Northern India. It has short horns, a black mane, and a bunch of long hair on the throat. The general color is grayish brown. [ Written also neelghau , nilgau , and nylghaie .]

Nymph noun [ Latin nympha nymph, bride, young woman, Greek ...: confer French nymphe . Confer Nuptial .]


1. (Class. Myth.) A goddess of the mountains, forests, meadows, or waters.

Where were ye, nymphs , when the remorseless deep
Closed o'er the head of your loved Lycidas ?
Milton.

2. Hence: A lovely young girl; a maiden; a damsel.

Nymph , in thy orisons
Be all my sins remembered.
Shak.

3. (Zoology) The pupa of an insect; a chrysalis.

4. (Zoology) Any one of a subfamily ( Najades ) of butterflies including the purples, the fritillaries, the peacock butterfly, etc.; -- called also naiad .

Nympha noun ; plural Nymphæ . [ Latin See Nymph a goddess.]
1. (Zoology) Same as Nymph , 3.

2. plural (Anat.) Two folds of mucous membrane, within the labia, at the opening of the vulva.