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 ?
Others, such as Emyr Huws, Lex Immers and Anthony Pilkington could also be in line for shock departures if they can't nail down starting spots.
Oxlade-Chamberlain admitted last week he may have to consider leaving if he can't nail down a spot in Wenger's first-choice side.
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.
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.
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.
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.
in 2004 and 2005, but now can't nail down a regular starting slot with lowly Fulham in the English Premier League.
Finding himself out of his depth, defeated by stories he can't nail down, he becomes determined to get to the bottom of a country 'corrupt even by Africa's standards'.
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.
Many, many times when there is a Lire and they can't nail down a cause they will say that they "suspect" faulty wiring.
But, despite the high-tech tools, Carroll can't nail down the clue he needs to catch his current suspect.
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