Main definitions of nut in US English:

: nut1Nut2


nounPlural nuts

  • 1A fruit consisting of a hard or tough shell around an edible kernel.

    • ‘Cover the foam with a handful or two of nuts in the shell.’
    • ‘The fruit of this tree is a nut and is edible if roasted.’
    • ‘The nut's hard ash-coloured shell contains toxic substances similar to what is found in poison ivy and poison oak.’
    • ‘Rural people are allowed to collect medicinal herbs, mushroom and fungi, edible vegetables, wild nuts, and fruits from forests.’
    • ‘Or buy nuts in the shell, so it will take you longer to eat them.’
    • ‘But in autumn and winter the birds switch to a variety of fruits, seeds and nuts.’
    • ‘They use their massive black bills to twist off and crack open pine nuts, the mainstay of their diet.’
    • ‘Scientists found that the two macadamia species that produce edible nuts were the most similar to each other.’
    • ‘Seeds, nuts, fruits, and berries make up their diet in the wild.’
    • ‘We stood sipping under Nikos's walnut tree, cracking nuts and watching Psiloritis flush from pale orange to deep mauve in the light of the setting sun.’
    • ‘The shells of green nuts are soft, and the skins on the seeds are not fully colored.’
    • ‘In fall and winter they feed principally on acorns, other nuts, seeds, and fruits.’
    • ‘And only a director of Burton's Wonka-esque vision would deem it necessary to train 200 real squirrels to shell nuts for one scene.’
    • ‘The other was broad and shallow, heaped with leaves, assorted seeds, nuts, and rose hips.’
    • ‘Many communities were encouraged to find a cheap art or craft to sell to visitors, such as painted boomerangs, carved emu eggs, boab nuts, and shells and toas.’
    • ‘Fifteen behaviors involved foraging using tools, such as probing for ants with sticks and cracking nuts with stones.’
    • ‘They also make decorative bags of painted nuts, necklaces of shells and nuts, and other items mainly to sell to tourists.’
    • ‘Hook-billed birds love to explore items with their beak and tongue, and they are naturals at holding and cracking seeds and nuts.’
    • ‘There are many species of walnut trees with edible nuts.’
    • ‘If you pick a walnut from a walnut tree and find it extremely difficult to crack, it shouldn't come as any surprise, as walnuts are literally one of the toughest nuts to crack.’
    1. 1.1 The hard kernel of a nut.
      • ‘The cake was really rich and slightly crumbly because of the high content of nuts (pistachio and almonds), and surprisingly lemony.’
      • ‘On your next picnic, serve strawberries with a pot of honey and chopped toasted nuts or chocolate shavings.’
      • ‘Fruit, nuts, plain yoghurt and eggs (perhaps with a little wholegrain cereal or toast) are all good foods to fill up on in the morning.’
      • ‘In a medium mixing bowl, combine fruits and nuts.’
      • ‘Nut allergies can start early on and usually do not disappear in adulthood.’
      • ‘Foods that tend not to provoke an insulin response include meat, fish, eggs, green vegetables, most fruits, nuts, beans and pulses.’
      • ‘Eat a ripe avocado and a handful of raw, unsalted cashew nuts mid-morning and mid-afternoon.’
      • ‘Besides being fun to eat, pistachio nuts are a boon to our health.’
      • ‘Scatter the fruit and toasted nuts over the wet chocolate discs and leave to set.’
      • ‘Traditionally, the betel nut was chewed as a mild stimulant, but this is much less common today.’
      • ‘Betel leaves, areca nuts, and fruits are distributed to wedding guests and observers.’
      • ‘We would not be restricted to salad vegetables, fruits and nuts, milk, raw fish, and steak tartare.’
      • ‘It's usually ready-made meals but in today's delivery I've made sure I stuck to healthy food: fruit, vegetables, nuts and raisins.’
      • ‘My grandparents had a bowl of mixed salted nuts on the table.’
      • ‘They set out an estimable tuna salad perked up with toasted pine nuts.’
      • ‘The nuts, olives and breadsticks are a nice touch.’
      • ‘Loaded with dried fruits and nuts, this cake is very moist, soft, and satisfying, and on top of that, it's sugar-free.’
      • ‘When we were camping near Mt. Index two weekends ago, I sat near the fire and ate pistachio nuts.’
      • ‘Steer clear of digestion-challenging fatty foods, including butter, cream, olive oil, crisps and nuts.’
      • ‘Instead, garnish food with one tablespoon of chopped nuts per person.’
  • 2A small flat piece of metal or other material, typically square or hexagonal, with a threaded hole through it for screwing on to a bolt as a fastener.

    • ‘It is a question that applies also to threads in metal, such as bolts and nuts and screw fasteners.’
    • ‘The deck is fiberglass composite with balsa wood core and is securely fastened with nuts, bolts, and washers to the inward hull flange.’
    • ‘Tighten the coupling nuts and check for any leaks.’
    • ‘You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.’
    • ‘They found two nuts missing from the front stretcher bar of the points and insisted that they should be immediately replaced.’
    • ‘For example, screw bolts and nuts are known from the Roman era (they have square heads to be turned with a wrench).’
    • ‘Police suspect the vehicle's wheel nuts were not properly fastened and a case of culpable homicide has been opened.’
    • ‘A good toolbox has lots of trays designed to hold all those odd bits of hardware, such as screws and bolts, washers, nuts, and nails.’
    • ‘Since they do not usually mention nuts, presumably the smiths also made the requisite matching nut and included it in the price.’
    • ‘Tighten the nuts on the bolts while sitting on it.’
    • ‘On Saturday 22nd November 2003 Mr Henderson had torque tightened the wheel nuts as advised after 50 kilometres.’
    • ‘A bolt was pushed through the hole and a nut was screwed on the end of it.’
    • ‘By contrast a search at 900 different locations failed to find any problems similar to the loose sets of nuts thought to be to blame for the Potters Bar crash.’
    • ‘Machine screws have a uniform shaft diameter and a blunt end, with smaller, less angled threads, designed for use with a matching nut or threaded hole.’
    • ‘For this reason, experts recommend using a torque wrench to tighten lug nuts when changing a wheel.’
    • ‘Use a long strip of painted wood or metal for the flag and attach it with a nut and bolt through a drilled hole.’
    • ‘Slide the ring and nut to the threads and tighten the nut.’
    • ‘The airframers checked and tightened every bolt, nut, screw, and cotter key in the system.’
    • ‘Note that the separate wrench on the small vise is hexagonal and fitted onto a hexagonal nut for tightening the vice.’
    • ‘They ranged from the production of brass and other non-ferrous metals to screws, nuts, bolts, chains and anchors, pins, and jewellery.’
    1. 2.1 The part at the lower end of the bow of a violin or similar instrument, with a screw for adjusting the tension of the hair.
  • 3informal A crazy or eccentric person.

    • ‘He's such a crazy nut, he would've done the naked pics for each team had he been there.’
    • ‘I got up this morning and was moving around like a crazy nut.’
    • ‘It's more that it makes me uncomfortable when we give these glory-seeking nuts the kind of attention they so desperately crave.’
    • ‘Crazy Chomsky-reading nut that he is, he at least deserves some coin for 30 years of honky-tonk labor.’
    • ‘In a short career, Jolie has taken on more nuts than a Snickers factory.’
    • ‘As far as I was concerned he was just some crazy nut who spent his days crooning up in the attic where he was changed.’
    • ‘Suddenly, it occurs to Zip: Irene has a crush on that nut.’
    • ‘Some nutcase stuck a colourful religious icon next to the button on Monday which some other nut removed on Tuesday.’
    • ‘You're going to have to spend the whole of his time here playing lovebirds in order to prevent that nut from wanting you to cheat on Scott with him!’
    • ‘These Londoners were nuts to begin with - and they're only getting more audacious.’
    • ‘If he did, he'd find, not only arguments like that, but even some nuts pining for the imposition of a fascist state or some other form of dictatorship.’
    • ‘Honey felt another spurt of warmth toward the woman, who was clearly risking that nut's wrath to buy her time.’
    • ‘Brains, manners, road sense and common sense don't exist in the motorists' world and the biggest nut on a car sits behind that steering wheel.’
    • ‘Then more whacko tourists would inundate their pristine land of home-grown nuts and fruitcakes.’
    • ‘Okay, so Buchanan is a perpetually angry hateful old nut, but still.’
    • ‘He offers no causes, no motives and no solutions and his two blank, motiveless killers are far scarier than the traditional lone nut.’
    madman, madwoman, maniac, lunatic
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1with adjective or noun modifier A person who is excessively interested in or enthusiastic about a specified thing.
      ‘a football nut’
      • ‘It's a limited-growth market - you're not going to all of a sudden discover a vast new audience of car buffs or gun nuts.’
      • ‘As a professional nude nut however, Tim was faced with a dilemma.’
      • ‘Just consider how the dumbest sports nuts remember every score.’
      • ‘The latest Legacy is, at last, the car that most car nuts wish it always had been.’
      • ‘I stepped up and brought forward an old argument I've had with a friend, Richard, who for while was a classical music nut.’
      • ‘He seems to have gone round the bend and gone after militia crazies and gun nuts, looking for his kind.’
      • ‘Key stylist Joy Zapata is interviewed, as well as the director, Reese Witherspoon, and other hair nuts from Legally Blonde.’
      • ‘While many of Moore's targets are easy, like the various gun nuts he interviews, a few of the connections he makes left some in the audience cold.’
      • ‘Not every person who is pro-war or anti-gun control is a pro-life, anti-gay religious nut.’
      • ‘As a matter of fact, most so called health nuts don't even scratch the surface of healthy living anyway, no matter how much they can bench press.’
      • ‘As you'd expect from a sport-obsessed nation, Sydney is a haven for sports nuts, especially since hosting the 2000 Olympics.’
      • ‘And since 1993, the impressive grounds of Goodwood House have also been home to the festival, which has become a magnet for car nuts.’
      • ‘It's part of an annual event that attracts 1.5 million car nuts, most of them there to show off their classic cars.’
      • ‘She has really beautiful brown hair, and I really do like it, but I am a nut for red hair.’
      • ‘Being a downhill ski nut and former instructor probably helps, but I think anyone can learn the basics of downhill skating and live to enjoy it.’
      • ‘As a self confessed car nut I was in my element examining pictures of Formula 1 cars and drivers, rally cars, scale models, trucks and bikes.’
      • ‘Well I don't know about that but if some religious nut, er, enthusiast wants me to be happy well, it's better than penile enhancement promos.’
      • ‘Shane Filan, a self confessed car nut, has collected some very desirable machines, including a Ferrari and two classic American muscle cars.’
      • ‘We even put one of those spoof backwards recordings on the end of the single for a laugh, to give all those Beatles nuts something to do.’
      • ‘What a weird and wacky world of gun nuts he turned up.’
      enthusiast, fan, fanatic, addict, devotee, aficionado
      View synonyms
  • 4informal A person's head.

    head, skull, cranium
    View synonyms
  • 5usually nutsvulgar slang Testicles.

  • 6The fixed ridge on the neck of a stringed instrument over which the strings pass.

    • ‘The right-hand bridges usually carry the bass strings, which run across the soundboard to the nut on the opposite edge.’

verbnutting, nutted, nuts

  • 1usually as noun nuttingarchaic no object Gather nuts.

    • ‘More affluent folks enjoyed nutting as recreation.’
    • ‘Bill Oddie said at the launch yesterday ‘We want everyone to get out and get nutting.’’
  • 2British informal with object Butt (someone) with one's head.

    • ‘From a short corner, Totti coaxed in a lovely ball to the far post and Toni, six yards out and free of his marker, nutted it into the corner.’
    • ‘Koroman's dangerous cross is nutted behind by Boulharouz for a corner.’
    • ‘France took the lead with a dodgy, early penalty, converted with preposterous calm by Zidane, but Italy deservedly equalised when Marco Materazzi showed what he'd learned on Merseyside by nutting home a cracking equaliser from a corner.’
    • ‘I'd just left to go to the bar when Mark came storming up to me saying that he'd nutted a guy for calling him a fag!’
    • ‘O'Gara pulled back another three points after Baby nutted O'Driscoll at a ruck - why no card from referee Tony Spreadbury?’
    • ‘She gave a little laugh through her tears. ‘When Daddy finally got the full picture, he nutted David a good one.’’
    • ‘There's not a single woman cowering under pointless blows, not a single housewife, waitress, charlady or nun being needlessly punched or nutted.’
    • ‘Fish is on stage in a Scotland football strip having earlier told the crowd that if he ever meets Ruud van Nistelrooy he will avenge Holland knocking Scotland out of the European Cup with a six-nil drubbing by nutting the said footballer.’
    • ‘Oppens used her elbows, wrists and knuckles, and sometimes her head came so near the keyboard that I suspect she nutted the poor instrument as well.’
    • ‘How often have you heard of an uncle nutting his nephew?’
    • ‘When the bright Shunsuke Nakamura sent the ball in, Hartson found the space to nut it home.’
    • ‘I could nut him and put him down, or keep negotiating and calming him.’
    • ‘I went up for the ball and got there first but one of their lads just nutted me in the wrong place.’
    • ‘One of them grabbed my hand, so I pulled it away and he pushed me against a wall, and then he nutted me and I fell to the floor.’
    • ‘Senderos heads away just as Pizarro is about to nut a cross in from about eight yards out.’
    • ‘Who ever nutted him last week will probably have knocked some sense into his peanut brain and should be telling him to sort out the domestic economy.’
    • ‘Figo, who should have walked for nutting Van Bommel, is just muscled off the ball by Boulahrouz and goes down clutching his face.’
    • ‘The air of unreality continued when Motherwell decided not to defend a Giovanni van Bronckhorst corner which Lorenzo Amoruso nutted goalwards from a narrow angle, with Wallace touching it into the net on the line.’
    • ‘The new half was only six minutes old when he nutted the equaliser from a Steven Smith free-kick.’
    • ‘Even Thierry Henry could have nutted it further than that.’


  • do one's nut

    • informal Be extremely angry or agitated.

      • ‘On the day of the incident he came home to a table full of banana sandwiches and ‘started to do his nut’.’
      • ‘I was before I came here, but someone in this computer lab is playing a Shania Twain album on a CD drive and it's doing my nut!’
      • ‘She does her nut and wakes him up to challenge him about it.’
      • ‘Aforementioned furry rodent re-appears at regular intervals, doing his nut over his unresponsive acorn, the inventive repetition reminiscent of Laurel and Hardy fighting with a piano or endless jousts in classic cartoons.’
      • ‘The skipper was apparently doing his nut, but while King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions could be applied to his crew, they didn't have much effect on his passengers.’
      • ‘Mum took me setting the microwave alight pretty well, I told her when she rang so she could do her nut at the hospital (very quietly) and be over the most of her temper by the time she got home.’
      • ‘But I need to do some digging first to find out what the actual case-law is on these matters before doing my nut about them.’
      • ‘Rejoice that you do not still live with your mother would would do her nut about the black splashes all over the kitchen.’
      • ‘It's not just his merciless cheeriness that's doing my nut.’
      • ‘It was no surprise that Hart was doing his nut on the sidelines.’
  • nuts and bolts

    • informal The basic practical details.

      ‘the nuts and bolts of public policy’
      • ‘At the same time he was always interested in practicalities, in the nuts and bolts.’
      • ‘Massenet learned his craft by playing timpani at the Paris Opéra, and really understood the nuts and bolts of theatrical production.’
      • ‘What I'm attempting to do here is get down to the nuts and bolts.’
      • ‘The book is also a marvelous insight into the nuts and bolts of medical practice.’
      • ‘The announcement was long on strategy and short on the nuts and bolts of how the forums will work in practice.’
      • ‘The internet is the mechanism - the nuts and bolts - for physically connecting computer networks.’
      • ‘Transnational culture-ideology practices are the nuts and bolts and the glue that hold the system together.’
      • ‘Further detailed discussions on the nuts and bolts of the finance deal will now take place with the DfES.’
      • ‘Her tale, the least interesting of the three, details the nuts and bolts of her past and what it takes to break free for a better future.’
      • ‘He tends to hire ambitious people who have their eye on a startup and a knack for the nuts and bolts of practice.’
      practical details, basic details, fundamentals, basics, practicalities, essentials, mechanics
      View synonyms
  • off one's nut

    • informal Out of one's mind; crazy.

      • ‘There are new bands coming through, but no one else seems to realise that rock music is in the middle of a Zeitgeist just now, and kids who are 19 just want to get off their nut and go crazy.’
      • ‘If you, say, went off your nut and tried to fill up the Houston Astrodome with Blanco Countians, you'd have to clone each one seven times.’
      • ‘You're the one who's gone off your nut about it.’
      • ‘Of course, it was the super-catchy single ‘Crawling In The Dark,’ that generated the most applause, but it was interesting to see that the crowd went off their nut for most of Hoobastank's other material too.’
      • ‘There was a reason I wanted to go on a picnic, even though your parents thought I was off my nut.’
      • ‘He cocked his head and looked at me as if I was off my nut.’
      • ‘When I told him I hadn't seen you all day and that I was worried because Rigger wasn't here either he went off his nut!’
      • ‘Depending on who you believe, he was either a pedophile, philanderer or just a bit off his nut.’
      • ‘I do believe that man was seriously off his nut, but why create all this?’
      • ‘It's only after the money has been donated that he tells Lil, who pretty much goes off her nut.’
  • a tough (or hard) nut

    • informal Someone who is difficult to deal with; a formidable person.

      • ‘While Spider-man, Daredevil, X-Men, Hulk and Blade were a slam dunk from an entertainment standpoint, the central figure of the current cinematic outing is something of a tough nut.’
      • ‘The programme needed a strong story line and, being a bit of a tough nut anyway, she could live with that, she said.’
      • ‘Romanov is by all accounts a hard nut, not inclined to throw good money after bad.’
      • ‘The female of the species are supposed to be tough nuts.’
      • ‘That's a hard nut and I'm not prepared to say where all those should be, but I think there are places where they may be needed.’
      • ‘In the MacTavish Cup first-round replay, Loch Carron's difficulties against Kilmallie continued and they found them once again a tough nut.’
      • ‘Clarke, who died in 1990, was a tough nut in his own right.’
      • ‘John Cena, the current WWE World Champion, is known around the world as a tough nut, but with the release of his new LP, he may be getting some respect as an MC as well.’
      • ‘Schumacher may be a tough nut, yet with hindsight that could prove to be a key moment when the drivers line up in Malaysia for the last grand prix of the season on October 22.’
      • ‘And you look at them and you think, ‘OK, this is going to be a hard nut.’’
  • a tough (or hard) nut to crack

    • informal A difficult problem or an opponent that is hard to beat.

      • ‘He should prove a tough nut to crack over tomorrow's extended three miles.’
      • ‘‘Entertainment is a really, really difficult nut to crack,’ admits Bolland.’
      • ‘Nine-year-olds are tough nuts to crack, as Peter Loraine, head of marketing at S Club Juniors' label Polydor, points out.’
      • ‘But he's right about parents being a tougher nut to crack.’
      • ‘I'm sure BB would like to implement something that works well for everyone, but it's a very difficult nut to crack and not something to rush into.’
      • ‘Oliver Cromwell ordered the walls to be ‘slighted’ - pulled down in parts so that if hostilities broke out again it would not prove so tough a nut to crack.’
      • ‘Now they, like the rest of Europe, are tough nuts to crack.’
      • ‘Upgrading a module that combines PHP with SQL is a tougher nut to crack, and it seems as though the XOOPS people have done an admirable job.’
      • ‘But reforming the media through policy changes may be the toughest nut to crack in the entire U.S. political system.’
      • ‘Japan has proved a tough nut for Microsoft's console division to crack.’


Old English hnutu, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch noot and German Nuss.




Main definitions of nut in US English:

: nut1Nut2


proper noun

Egyptian Mythology
  • The sky goddess, thought to swallow the sun at night and give birth to it in the morning.