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Any miscellaneous trinket or toy, especially one that is delicate or dainty. I loved visiting my grandmother when I was a child and examining all the various knick-knacks she'd collected around the house.

full of the devil

 and full of Old Nick
always making mischief. Little Chuckie is sure full of the devil. Toward the end of the school year, the kids are always full of Old Nick.
See also: devil, full, of

*in the (very) nick of time

Fig. just in time; at the last possible instant; just before it's too late. (*Typically: arrive ~; get there ~; happen ~; reach something ~; Save someone ~.) The doctor arrived in the nick of time. The patient's life was saved. I reached the airport in the very nick of time and made my flight.
See also: nick, of, time

nick something up

to make little dents or nicks in something, ruining the finish. Someone nicked the kitchen counter up. Who nicked up the coffeepot?
See also: nick, up

(just) in the nick of time

at the last possible moment A man walking his dog saw her fall into the river and pulled her out just in the nick of time.
See also: nick, of, time

in the nick of time

at the last possible moment
Usage notes: A nick was a mark on a stick which was used in the past to measure time.
We got there just in the nick of time. A minute later and she'd have left.
See also: nick, of, time

Old Nick

  (British & Australian old-fashioned, humorous)
the Devil (= the enemy of God in the Christian religion) In his latest film, he plays a gambler who sells his soul to Old Nick in return for winning a fortune.
See also: nick, old

in the nick of time

Also, just in time. At the last moment, as in The police arrived in the nick of time, or He got there just in time for dinner. The first term began life as in the nick and dates from the 1500s, when nick meant "the critical moment" (a meaning now obsolete). The second employs just in the sense of "precisely" or "closely," a usage applied to time since the 1500s. Also see in time, def. 1.
See also: nick, of, time

full of the devil

and full of Old Nick
mod. always making mischief. Little Chucky is sure full of the devil. All those kids are full of Old Nick.
See also: devil, full, of

full of Old Nick

See also: full, nick, of, old


1. tv. to arrest someone. (see also nicked.) The cops nicked Paul outside his house.
2. tv. to steal something. The thugs nicked a couple of apples from the fruit stand.
3. tv. to get or take something. Tom nicked a copy of the test for Sam, who also needed one.
4. n. nicotine. I’m craving some nick.


mod. arrested. “Now I’m nicked,” he said.
See also: nick

full of the devil

Very energetic, mischievous, daring, or clever.
See also: devil, full, of

in the nick of time

Just at the critical moment; just in time.
See also: nick, of, time
References in periodicals archive ?
There is still time to get Nick home for Christmas, I am not losing hope yet.
Back in Canada, Nick found himself toiling in Carp, Ontario at the Diefenbunker, the Cold War facility that would have housed the Canadian leadership in the event of a nuclear attack.
Tailored clothing will be a cornerstone category for the Nick Graham brand and I am very excited to be partnering with Lanier Clothes.
She said: "It has been more than a year since Nick was released from prison.
Mariah also asks Nick not to come over on Christmas anymore also because she partly blames him for her recent concert flops and bad reviews.
The story's beginning is somewhat bleak, introducing Nick as he enters the wasteland of Seney.
To and fro, back and forth, bend your knees, thought Nick.
In a statement Royal Mail spokeswoman Val Bodden said: "We picked Alcester as this is the home town where Nick lives and has his stables and we think it made an excellent location to celebrate his magnificent Olympic win.
It hasn't always been easy, but it is one of the best decisions we've ever made because we believe this philosophy has rubbed off on Nick.
Nick Casasanto was only 7 years old when he was hospitalized with Type I juvenile diabetes.
Defying the dire predictions of the medical experts, Santonastasso delivered a son, Nick, who while suffering from severe handicaps, has achieved much more than anyone expected.
Every time the Hawks scored, Nick or a teammate picked up a cell phone, called from the sidelines.
Welsh teenage tennis prospect Nick Jones is heading for the USA on the next step of his development towards the professional ranks.