nail down

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Related to nail down: take place, bygones

nail (something) down

1. Literally, to use nails as a means of securing something. Remember to nail the tarp down, or it will get blown away when the storm hits! I've been meaning to nail down this loose step before someone falls over it.
2. To specify something; to establish or determine something concretely. I'd like to nail down the dates we want to fly so I can start looking at ticket prices. I think we've nailed down the cause of the electrical failures. It seems like you're struggling to nail down what your essay really trying to say.
See also: down, nail

nail someone down

(on something) Go to pin someone down (on something).
See also: down, nail

nail something down

1. to secure something down by nailing it. Please nail the floorboard down or someone will trip over it. I'll nail down these floorboards.
2. Go to pin something down.
See also: down, nail

nail down

Establish conclusively, as in The reporter nailed down the story by checking all the facts. This metaphoric expression alludes to fixing or fastening something down with nails. [c. 1600]
See also: down, nail

nail down

1. To secure something or make it unable to move by driving nails through it and into another object: On the passenger ship, the workers nailed the tables down so that they wouldn't slide around during the storm. We examined the deck and nailed down all loose boards.
2. To specify or fix something: After months of evading the question, the candidate finally nailed down her position on the war. We can't release the schedule until we've nailed it down.
3. To discover or establish something conclusively: The reporter nailed down the story by checking all the facts. We looked for the source of the problem but couldn't nail it down.
4. To win something decisively: She nailed down her sixth win of the season with a birdie on the 18th hole. We nailed the top spot down by defeating the two best teams in the league.
See also: down, nail
References in periodicals archive ?
HEART TO HEART: Cosmetics company OPI in North Hollywood is doing its part to nail down a cure for heart disease by creating a new red nail lacquer called Color My Heart .
One weakness, Cliver notes, is their inability to nail down a mechanism or agent responsible for wood's antibacterial properties.
This allows residents to obtain the needed skills to nail down a living wage type job where they can take care of their family.
Buster and Oglesby's work helped investigators nail down the cause of the fire - 40 gallons of gasoline.
Scientists have yet to nail down the virus-like particle responsible for bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cows and scrapie in sheep, but whatever causes these diseases appears to remain infectious even after three years in soil, according to Paul Brown and D.
The junior singled in Carlos Gallo to cap a six-run rally and then pitched the sixth and seventh innings to nail down the save, also his second in as many days.
With these new materials, you can nail down the widths and positions of [X-ray] peaks to such a high accuracy that there's no need to discuss defects in the material," says IBM's Peter A.
Radiologist and endocrinologist Claude Arnaud, at the University of California at San Francisco, says Jensen's theory is interesting but cautions that much more work is needed to nail down interleukin's relationship both to endometriosis and to bone loss.
Anderson rarely scores a direct emotional bull's-eye with this material, but that's partly because she's too savvy an artist to try to nail down Melville's slippery text.
By comparing the life cycles of the last living mastodons with those of their ancestors, he hopes to nail down the cause of the extinction.
watched its season reach an abrupt end in little more than a crapshoot, their hosts pulling out a 2-1 shootout victory before 32,734 at Soldier Field to nail down a spot in MLS Cup '98.
Meanwhile, the JOIDES Resolution is on Leg 105 in the Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay between Greenland and canada, where scientists hope to nail down the timing of the opening and seafloor spreading history of that part of the North Atlantic as well as to study ocean circulation, causes of glaciation and the evolutionary responses of marine organisms to extreme environmental changes.
As Johnson addressed wave upon wave of reporters, closer Roberto Hernandez sat a few feet away, trying to nail down that which is ethereal.
In the end, two of the El Camino team members managed to nail down perfect scores, pulling up the overall El Camino score to a 57 to tie with the Fresno County team.