[nod] /nɒd/

verb (used without object), nodded, nodding.
to make a slight, quick downward bending forward of the head, as in assent, greeting, or command.
to let the head fall slightly forward with a sudden, involuntary movement when sleepy.
to doze, especially in a sitting position:
The speaker was so boring that half the audience was nodding.
to become careless, inattentive, or listless; make an error or mistake through lack of attention.
(of trees, flowers, plumes, etc.) to droop, bend, or incline with a swaying motion.
verb (used with object), nodded, nodding.
to bend (the head) in a short, quick downward movement, as of assent or greeting.
to express or signify by such a movement of the head:
to nod approval; to nod agreement.
to summon, bring, or send by a nod of the head.
to cause (something) to lean or sway; incline.
a short, quick downward bending forward of the head, as in assent, greeting, or command or because of drowsiness.
a brief period of sleep; nap.
a bending or swaying movement.
Verb phrases
nod off, to fall asleep or doze, especially in a sitting position:
He was reprimanded for nodding off in class.
nod out, Slang. to fall asleep, especially owing to the effects of a drug.
give the nod to, Informal. to express approval of; agree to:
The board gave the nod to the new proposal.
on the nod,

verb nods, nodding, nodded
to lower and raise (the head) briefly, as to indicate agreement, invitation, etc
(transitive) to express or indicate by nodding: she nodded approval
(transitive) to bring or direct by nodding: she nodded me towards the manager’s office
(intransitive) (of flowers, trees, etc) to sway or bend forwards and back
(intransitive) to let the head fall forward through drowsiness; be almost asleep: the old lady sat nodding by the fire
(intransitive) to be momentarily inattentive or careless: even Homer sometimes nods
nodding acquaintance, a slight, casual, or superficial knowledge (of a subject or a person)
a quick down-and-up movement of the head, as in assent, command, etc: she greeted him with a nod
a short sleep; nap See also land of Nod
a swaying motion, as of flowers, etc, in the wind
(informal) on the nod

(boxing, informal) the nod, the award of a contest to a competitor on the basis of points scored

“to quickly bow the head,” late 14c., of unknown origin, probably an Old English word, but not recorded; perhaps related to Old High German hnoton “to shake,” from Proto-Germanic *khnudojanan. Meaning “to drift in and out of consciousness while on drugs” is attested from 1968. Related: Nodded; nodding. A nodding acquaintance (1711) is one you know just well enough to greet with a nod.

mid-15c., from nod (v.). Land of Nod “sleep” is a pun on the biblical place name (Gen. iv:16).


To be intoxicated with narcotics to a very drowsy or stuporous state: with slews of rich kids nodding in the Scarsdale woods

[1960s+ Narcotics; the underlying sense, ”let the head fall forward when drowsy,” is found by 1562]

exile; wandering; unrest, a name given to the country to which Cain fled (Gen.4:16). It lay on the east of Eden.

In addition to the idiom beginning with nod


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  • Nodding dog

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