Definition of nod in English:

nod

verb

  • 1[no object] Lower and raise one's head slightly and briefly, especially in greeting, assent, or understanding, or to give someone a signal.

    ‘he nodded to Monica to unlock the door’
    [with object] ‘she nodded her head in agreement’
    • ‘My eyes stayed focused on the television screen, and I nodded in response.’
    • ‘Emily nodded slowly in agreement while kicking a box to the corner.’
    • ‘Both men nodded in unison, but I could sense their concern.’
    • ‘I winked, and he nodded with a big grin as I walked away.’
    • ‘The little girl nodded solemnly, golden curls bouncing.’
    • ‘She nodded in satisfaction and tossed a pretzel onto the middle of the table.’
    • ‘I nodded to show I understood, and decided to unbutton the coat instead.’
    • ‘The boy nodded mutely, tears brimming in his eyes.’
    • ‘They nodded in unison; the contempt in James's eyes was not missed.’
    • ‘Glancing over his shoulder, Max nodded in acknowledgment then turned back to Katharine.’
    • ‘The girl nodded mutely, turned on her heel, and ran.’
    • ‘Quickly the car began to move, and Andrew nodded slightly in acknowledgement.’
    • ‘Unable to resist his charm and devastating smile, Blair nodded mutely in response.’
    • ‘Kara nodded not knowing what to say and pushed up against him seeking a tighter embrace.’
    • ‘She only nodded in acknowledgment, a sort of lonesome satisfaction flowing into her eyes.’
    • ‘He looked around nodding slightly with a light smile.’
    • ‘Ace nodded grimly in reply, still keeping his eyes ahead.’
    • ‘The larger man nodded in approval at Jack's action and then again at his companion.’
    • ‘The question had been more of a statement, and Chet nodded slightly in acknowledgement.’
    • ‘She nodded curtly in response, then turned back to where she was seated, gazing at the ocean.’
    incline, bob, bow, dip, wag, duck
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object]Signify or express (greeting, assent, or understanding) in this way.
      ‘he nodded his consent’
      • ‘Rico continued to give various tips and instructions, Chris nodding his understanding throughout the lecture.’
      • ‘With tingling anticipation the audience nodded its agreement that the card the girl had drawn on had indeed been decimated.’
      • ‘‘It's a good time to be a scrum-half,’ Lawson insists and his rival nods his agreement.’
      • ‘Not to anyone's amazement, a woman was found in the audience who began nodding vigorous assent to everything Charles said.’
      • ‘They only nodded their agreement, although deep in their hearts they rejected his idea.’
      • ‘He became quizzical yet some of them nodded their assent or what he took to be assent.’
      • ‘Stifling another giggle, she only nods her agreement, unable to voice her assent.’
      • ‘You'll always find a chorus of people to nod agreement to your stupid charge.’
      • ‘The teen girl nodded her understanding, and disappeared down the hallway.’
      • ‘Cara nodded her understanding, her eyes still on the still body of Cedric.’
      • ‘Ally nodded her understanding; she knew exactly what it was like to have an agent who didn't listen.’
      • ‘Today I nodded my greeting, but he avoided my gaze, and whizzed past with his son.’
      • ‘Harry shot a glance at me quickly, before nodding his assent and followed the uniformed officer out of the room.’
      • ‘The others knew what he was going to say, and nodded their understanding.’
      • ‘When I ask her about this, McTeer nods her assent.’
      • ‘Shields nods his agreement, but it is qualified.’
      • ‘He laughed at his own description, nodding assent, and laughing also.’
      • ‘‘We never think of that,’ replies George, while Gilbert nods his assent.’
      • ‘Napoleon nodded his understanding, gave me a brief pat, then turned his attention to the stunning woman behind me.’
      • ‘He glared down at Alex, who was nodding a greeting at the teacher and slipping his cell phone into his pocket.’
    2. 1.2Draw or direct attention to someone or something by moving one's head.
      ‘he nodded toward the corner of the room’
      • ‘‘Here comes your brother,’ Chris said, changing the subject and nodding toward the door.’
      • ‘‘They look crazy,’ said Jana, nodding toward the table when she saw me looking at them.’
      • ‘‘Him,’ I said, nodding toward our neighbor, who was revving the engine on his boat.’
      • ‘Giles relaxed into a smile, nodding toward the guards.’
      • ‘Beck just nodded his head knowingly, before nodding toward Jesse, whose blonde bangs covered any expression his eyes were holding as they skimmed across the paper.’
      • ‘Evan shook his head and straightened up, nodding toward the ramp.’
      • ‘I glanced over my shoulder and he nodded toward the bank and I saw it was moving the wrong way.’
      • ‘She was there with friends, and she nodded toward a small group of white women standing on the outer edge of the dance floor.’
      • ‘She caught his gaze and held it evenly, nodding toward the gate.’
      • ‘The salesman at the counter though said not a word merely nodding toward a door behind him.’
      • ‘The bartender nods toward a brass plate on the bar that reads, No One Under 18 is Permitted.’
      • ‘Blair looked at Jim, nodding toward his injured arm.’
      • ‘‘Unfortunately, with no wind, this course is a doddle,’ McHenry says, nodding toward the leaderboard.’
      • ‘‘Oh, and look at that,’ he said, elbowing me and nodding toward a woman wearing tight ski pants.’
      • ‘She nodded toward a corner of the room, where five chairs sat in a semi-circle around the fire.’
      • ‘He offered her a reassuring smile before nodding toward her hand.’
      • ‘I sighed quietly and looked over at Quinn, before slipping my hand from Jordan's and nodding toward the open door.’
      • ‘He was nodding toward the booth of the Detroit Super Bowl Host Committee, which featured a couch and a fireplace.’
      • ‘‘He marked you,’ the Unicorn said, nodding toward the bruises exposed on my arms.’
      • ‘‘Maybe he knows,’ Michael said, nodding toward a grumpy person standing at the foot of the bottom steps.’
    3. 1.3Move one's head up and down repeatedly.
      ‘he shut his eyes, nodding to the beat’
      figurative ‘foxgloves nodding by the path’
  • 2[no object] Have one's head fall forward when drowsy or asleep.

    ‘Anna nodded over her book’
    • ‘Basic chores done, I gave up and went to sit in the kitchen, where I slumped in my chair, yawning and nodding.’
    • ‘It's quiet, the woman's out, the kid's asleep, and I am nodding over a notebook and tea, wearing fuzzy slippers.’

noun

  • 1An act of nodding the head.

    ‘at a nod from his father, he left the room’
    • ‘Simon gave Jacob a slow yet reassuring nod.’
    • ‘Marvin gave them a slight imperceptible nod and they grinned darkly.’
    • ‘‘Anytime,’ I replied, and gave her a slight nod as she departed in the opposite direction.’
    • ‘She gave the men a nod of thanks and quickly closed the door.’
    • ‘Nelson gave a curt nod of his head, and Morton picked up the mike at the plot table.’
    • ‘After getting nods of agreement from Brad and Natasha, she opened the book.’
    • ‘Evan's barely perceptible nod was his only answer.’
    • ‘Only after their new boss's back was turned did he look up and give Gina a quick acknowledging nod.’
    • ‘Amanda commented to Jenkins and received a curt nod of acknowledgement.’
    • ‘Alexis returned the embrace and agreed with the slight nod of her head.’
    • ‘‘Yes,’ she said with a slight nod and as she started backing slowly away.’
    • ‘Marissa gave a curt nod of her head before making her way to one of the two logs.’
    • ‘He gave her a final nod with a smile, and exited the cabin.’
    • ‘The queen went back to her dinner with a slight nod.’
    • ‘He answered my father with a slight nod, his cold eyes never leaving my own.’
    • ‘She did not even have to give the slightest of nods in reply.’
    • ‘He just kept on playing, allowing himself only the merest nod of recognition.’
    • ‘He just gave a quick and indifferent nod in her direction and walked past.’
    • ‘He turned down the challenge gracefully with a slight nod of approval.’
    inclination, bob, bow, dip, duck
    signal, indication, sign, cue
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A gesture of acknowledgment or concession.
      ‘a feel-good musical with a nod to pantomime’
      • ‘The oven-fried chicken is a nod to the Shake-'n-Bake craze that started in the late 1960s.’
      • ‘In a nod to health, a minor one, they had margarine instead of butter.’
      • ‘Built in the late Seventies, when the Troubles were at their most incendiary, it casts more than a nod to the brutalist school of architecture.’
      • ‘However, in a nod to modernity there is also a section in the competition for speciality entries allowing exotic variations involving puréed fruit, honey, caramel or whisky.’
      • ‘Because of health and safety regulations, the new owners have had to content themselves with a plastic parrot behind the bar as a nod to the venue's past.’
      • ‘Creating characters is almost a game in itself, and in a nod to the genome project, their looks and characteristics are passed on to children.’
      • ‘He says recent judgments in the courts would appear to be a nod to our legislators to go ahead and enact something similar, but this has yet to materialise.’
      • ‘He became the first dancehall artist to grace the cover of Vibe magazine, the urban music bible, a nod to the rising importance of both the artist and the genre.’
      • ‘It would indicate thoughtfulness and a nod to common sense.’
      • ‘I wouldn't be offended by dubbing, since the words are nothing but a nod to convention.’
      • ‘A surprising twist in the film was the number of perfectly placed celebrity cameos, a nod to actors with failing careers who are hoping to steal a laugh.’
      • ‘Is the world ready for a comedy action movie that has even the slightest nod to 9/11?’
      • ‘There even appears to be a nod to her own back pages in ‘Push’, which confirms Europe as a major musical influence.’
      • ‘This may have been a statement that The Simpsons has survived, but I think instead it is a nod to all those cartoons that did not make it.’
      • ‘The deodorant and all the rest is merely a nod to convention.’
      • ‘His most recent tattoo, across his lower back reads, with a nod to John Lennon: ‘All You Need Is Love’.’
      • ‘There is also a nod to the mayoral experiment in big cities: Labour now believes it has worked in London and would like it to be extended to other centres.’
      • ‘Hundreds of dancers took spectators on a glitzy trip through Italian history, with a nod to Botticelli, Fellini and Ferrari.’
      • ‘Virtually every guitar solo featured on their fourth studio album is a nod to the hard rock hair bands of the early '90s.’
      • ‘Like a flat pack, the Grand Opera House pantomime is assembled in next to no time and somehow just about holds together and does the job without a nod to fashion.’

Phrases

  • a nodding acquaintance

    • A slight acquaintance with a person or cursory knowledge of a subject.

      ‘students will need a nodding acquaintance with three other languages’
      • ‘There were three women; I was on nodding acquaintance with one of them, so we exchanged greetings.’
      • ‘We can rely on these crowds to be reasonably well behaved and to have at least a nodding acquaintance with the laws of the game.’
      • ‘Moderation is the inseparable companion of wisdom, but with it genius has not even a nodding acquaintance.’
      • ‘Now, I would have thought that anyone who has had even a nodding acquaintance with Econ 101 would have figured that as the most natural outcome of market integration.’
      • ‘It's a production designed with short attention spans in mind, although it helps if you have at least a nodding acquaintance with the plays themselves.’
      • ‘Parody clicks only when the viewer identifies with the subject, and London as of now is only starting to make more than a nodding acquaintance with Indian culture.’
      • ‘The price has little more than a nodding acquaintance with the actual value; the only thing that matters is what the next sucker in line is willing to pay.’
      • ‘But I was hesitant to do that because, frankly, some of the news these days looks to have little more than a nodding acquaintance with reality and doesn't make any coherent sense to me at all.’
      • ‘There was no evidence of anything beyond a nodding acquaintance between the two neighbours.’
      • ‘It only takes a nodding acquaintance with this man to realise that that is not his nature.’
      bit, small amount, little, modicum, touch, soupçon
      View synonyms
  • even homer nods

    • proverb Even the best person sometimes makes a mistake due to a momentary lack of alertness or attention.

      • ‘At one point he does give way and lets a character remind us who Tiberius Gracchus was and what happened to him, but even Homer nods.’
      • ‘But even Homer nods, and Justice White penned a Brennanesque whopper in Garner.’
      • ‘But at times even Homer nods, and according to the newspaper accounts (if you will look them up) and my own recollection as an eyewitness close at hand, it was not the daughter but rather the wife of President Roosevelt of that day who christened the Kaiser's sailing yacht Meteor.’
      • ‘Well, even Homer nods, and what Eliot gives is sufficient to evoke the lines he has in mind.’
      • ‘But even Homer nods, and so does Nabokov, and to build whole-scale interpretations on details that seem much more explicable as errors is fraught with danger.’
      • ‘Indeed, when The Star-Spangled Girl first appeared in 1966, it ran simultaneously on Broadway with no fewer than three other Simon hits (Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple and Sweet Charity), but if even Homer nods and Shakespeare has his clunkers, mustn't Neil Simon too have his off days?’
      • ‘If even Homer nods, then should we exclude this possibility from the works of his commentators, however learned they may be?’
      • ‘I'm a big fan of Gill's work, but even Homer nods, and this one's sleep-writing.’
      • ‘And yet, if even Homer nods, what hope for a mad American cello-player?’
      • ‘We're big fans of Judge Berzon, but even Homer nods.’
  • get the nod

    • 1Be selected or approved.

      • ‘It's science fact - futuristic ideas, conceived by imaginative young men, whose crazy-sounding schemes have got the nod from the scientists.’
      • ‘Crunch time will come for the selectors on September 27, when they decide who gets the nod for subsequent World Cup shows.’
      • ‘As reported by the Press, Brough got the nod from rugby league writers following his starring role in the 58-16 win at Dewsbury a fortnight ago.’
      • ‘In fact, it even got the nod as the speculative selection in the first edition of our value newsletter.’
      • ‘Glasgow got the nod over Edinburgh as Scotland's standard-bearer, but events industry insiders and business leaders are already voicing fears, even before the planned feasibility study gets under way.’
      • ‘Abbott filed for Food & Drug Administration approval in April and is hoping to get the nod in the first quarter of 2003.’
      • ‘Not the case, however, the selectors stayed loyal, and Kennedy gets the nod.’
      • ‘If Mary gets the nod from the Irish selectors it will be her first Senior international and a wonderful achievement for this young athlete.’
      • ‘Last year the calculator almost denied Shanahoe a place in the championship semi-final, but by a percentage point they got the nod.’
      • ‘Not only was he voted biggest movie star, he got the nod as the most irritating film star of the last 16 years, too, for his breathtaking displays of irregular behaviour over the course of last year.’
      be selected, be chosen, be picked, make the grade
      be capped
      get a guernsey
      View synonyms
    • 2Receive a signal or information.

      • ‘As the game progressed I was itching to get a run and with eight minutes to go, I got the nod to enter the fray.’
      • ‘Michael Lawlor only got the nod that he was starting minutes before the game as players were put under pressure to perform.’
  • give someone/something the nod

    • 1Select or approve someone or something.

      ‘they banned one book but gave the other the nod’
      • ‘Were the White House to give you the nod, what is the very first thing you would say?’
      • ‘The Abbotstown racecourse project, which looked dead in the water when Dundalk was given the nod for Ireland's first all-weather track, is deliberately being kept alive by Horse Racing Ireland.’
      • ‘Residents in Heysham are furious that a blueprint for the watering hole was given the nod by Lancaster City Councillors despite more than 40 objections.’
      • ‘Already the commentators were talking them up as the better team and giving them the nod to advance to the next phase.’
      • ‘Because of that experience, I give them the nod.’
      • ‘If Glasgow is given the nod over Edinburgh, it makes it more likely that tourists from eastern Scotland will have to continue travelling through to the west of Scotland for many destinations and chartered flights.’
      • ‘The bureaucrats in NZ were also giving the deal the nod.’
      • ‘So far, things are looking distinctly Brokeback Mountain coloured, after the film was given the nod by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the Golden Globes and the Producers Guild Of America.’
      • ‘And we even hesitate after technologies have been given the nod.’
      • ‘A committee goes into details of the couple, financial, maturity and willingness level, before giving them the nod.’
      select, choose, pick, go for
      approve, agree to, sanction, ratify, endorse, say yes to, give one's approval to, rubber-stamp
      View synonyms
    • 2Give someone a signal.

      • ‘When they give you the nod, then move the rod to the gimbal.’
      • ‘Mr Oxley said that £30,000 was already in the bank and the council had been given the nod that other funding was on the way to make up the rest of the costs.’
      • ‘Mel comes back, Mark gives me the nod, and a second later he's crashing to the floor.’
      • ‘I'll give you the nod when we get our licence and location sorted out.’
      • ‘Seanie came back anyway, I gave him the nod, ‘we'd better be moving on!’’
      • ‘But until you are given the nod, there is nothing you can do.’
      • ‘I looked at Chaz, giving him the nod to order the drinks.’
      • ‘The orchestra leader looks around nervously, and the camera finally settles on Rick, who gives him the nod.’
      • ‘Is our job done when the US gives us the nod, as usual?’
      • ‘But then, about 20-30 minutes later (or however long it was - time really had no meaning to me by this stage), we were given the nod.’
  • on the nod

    • 1informal By general agreement and without discussion.

      ‘parliamentary approval of the treaty went through on the nod’
      • ‘More than anything else, it's important there is resistance rather than cuts just going through on the nod.’
      • ‘However, decisions are made and go through on the nod before the inconvenience of having to notify the public.’
      • ‘Turning for home Vintage Storm was joined by All the Swallows and it was nip and tuck all the way to the finish with Vintage Storm winning on the nod by a head in 29.84.’
      • ‘'You never hear about the ones that go through on the nod,' he says.’
      • ‘The overspill office block built for Westminster cost more, and that went through on the nod, with none of the controversy and bad publicity attached.’
      • ‘Why it felt this was necessary is something that no one can adequately explain, especially since very similar reports were passed through on the nod.’
      • ‘Why can't they just put it through on the nod for Heaven's Sake?’
      • ‘Fortunately, this application is unlikely to pass on the nod.’
      • ‘The item was not actually discussed but instead went through on the nod.’
      • ‘My divorce went through on the nod, but I didn't fight it, believing it to be the only option for both of us.’
    • 2informal On credit.

    • 3informal Alternating between wakefulness and sleepiness on account of heroin use.

Phrasal Verbs

  • nod off

    • Fall asleep, especially briefly or unintentionally.

      ‘some of the congregation nodded off during the sermon’
      • ‘After a while, the girls had quieted down enough for Shannon to fall asleep and for Sarah to start nodding off, yet again.’
      • ‘The road continues to unwind, and Frank nods off briefly, before snapping awake after a close call.’
      • ‘The defendant is very sorry for causing the fatal accident, Your Honour, it was unintentional, he nodded off whilst driving.’
      • ‘As the driver's head falls forward as he starts to nod off, the audible alarm is activated.’
      • ‘Find yourself nodding off at your desk by mid-afternoon, then failing asleep during your favorite TV show in the evening?’
      • ‘Eric was up an about this morning when we got up this morning before nodding off again and has been asleep for the last few hours.’
      • ‘I thought I was going to fall asleep, but every time I began to nod off, my dad would elbow me slightly.’
      • ‘I ate a light breakfast and nodded off to asleep again, sleepy from the previous night's restlessness.’
      • ‘But for once she had nothing to lean against and she had the impression that if she nodded off anymore, she might possibly fall off her horse.’
      • ‘He admitted that he had nearly nodded off just before the crash.’
      fall asleep, go to sleep, get to sleep, doze off, drop off
      go off, drift off, crash out, flake out, go out like a light, conk out
      sack out, zone out
      View synonyms
  • nod out

    • Fall asleep, especially from the effects of a drug.

      ‘they go to a coffee shop, get stoned, go to a club at 11, and nod out at midnight’
      • ‘Sometimes when he's nodding out, and I have to leave him a note about something really heavy going down, I just clip it to a refrigerator magnet and pop it right onto that garage door opener.’
      • ‘One time she came out of the bedroom, stumbling and almost nodding out.’
      • ‘Most of the tracks here are three simple chords, played very slowly behind a drummer who may be nodding out and a bass player who averages about four notes a minute.’
      • ‘There was a story out today, I don't know if you heard it, Nancy, is that apparently this woman is a frequent abuser of some drugs and frequently nods out and does some other things…’
      • ‘See him there in the shadow, nodding out peacefully?’
      • ‘Every time he paused for dramatic effect, I was afraid he was going to nod out on the podium and start drooling on the teleprompter.’
      • ‘Well over the legal limit, he'd nodded out whilst driving up his own driveway, totalling car and caravan in true rock and roll style.’

Origin

Late Middle English (as a verb): perhaps of Low German origin; compare with Middle High German notten move around, shake The noun dates from the mid 16th century.

Pronunciation:

nod

/näd/