Definition of doornail in US English:



  • A stud set in a door for strength or as an ornament.

    • ‘In spite of being dumber than a doornail, the minister immediately picked up on it.’


  • (as) dead as a doornail

    • Quite dead.

      • ‘Their screams sounded like nails on a chalkboard, or a strangled cat, as they slowly fell into heaps on the floor, dead as doornails and far more ugly.’
      • ‘Everyone in front of me was dead - dead as a doornail.’
      • ‘They'll be deader'n doornails for the next couple hours.’
      • ‘Dated, fin-de-siècle symbolism is deader than a doornail (which at least doesn't rot), without the ghost of a chance at survival.’
      • ‘She's just deader than the proverbial doornail.’
      • ‘If we'd lost it this estate would have been dead as a doornail.’
      • ‘He merely just flopped back on the floor, now dead as a doornail.’
      • ‘I'll stand in front of him until I'm as dead as a doornail.’
      • ‘‘As a doctrine, it's dead as a doornail,’ he insists.’
      • ‘Don't ask me what has happened in the interim, but the whole issue seems to be as dead as the proverbial doornail just now.’
      dead, expired, departed, gone, no more, passed on, passed away
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