can't nail (something) down

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can't nail (something) down

Unable to complete, do correctly, or be certain of some task or thing. I've been working on my speech for an hour, but I can't seem to nail it down. They couldn't nail down the terms of their agreement. I know I've heard this song before, but I can't quite nail it down.
See also: down, nail
References in periodicals archive ?
Byrne simply can't nail down a starting spot because of the form of forwards like Dean Rock, Ted Furman, Jason Whelan and Elliot Reilly.
I have been able to find some generic information on the Zehner but can't nail down the Walther.
Each of about 20 selections seemed an easy pick, but for those who just can't nail down a category the Paella Valenciana ($25) might do the trick: mussels, clams, shrimp, sea scallops, calamari, chicken and chorizo baked with saffron rice.
McCoist still can't nail down a position for his star man but is convinced he'll eventually have the confidence to grab games by the scruff of the neck and influence them from midfield.
Baggies fans can't work out why Koren can't nail down a regular starting role.
Exactly what's that number, that's the starting point and that's the number they can't nail down today.
PLAN OF ACTION: Fergie and assistant Mike Phelan watch United in training but they can't nail down their final line up until Ferdinand, left, decides whether to appeal his ban
in 2004 and 2005, but now can't nail down a regular starting slot with lowly Fulham in the English Premier League.
The former Motherwell and Scotland midfielder can't nail down a place and the arrival of Thomas Gravesen has put him even further down the pecking order and sparked rumours he'll leave in January.
He's an absolute natural out there and if he can keep clear of injury problems, there's no reason why he can't nail down an international place.
Monchengladbach are full of goals, so much so that the excellent Thorgen Hazard can't nail down a starting berth with Lars Stindl and Raffael working wonderfully together.
But, despite the high-tech tools, Carroll can't nail down the clue he needs to catch his current suspect.
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