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 establish or determine something with specificity. 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 is 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 ?
Nail down the details if you have a lender which requires a lot of time to prepare a pay-off letter or has pre-payment penalties.
Indeed, for the second week in a row, Connacht were stretched in the final 10 minutes to nail down the bonus point.
The big winger was first capped back in 2002, but despite being there or thereabouts for the last six years he has not yet managed to nail down a regular place in the Scotland squad, and Sunday's match at Murrayfield will be only his 11th international appearance.
Larsson has decided not to take the option of an extra year at the Nou Camp after finding it hard to nail down a first-team place since moving to the Catalan club from Celtic in 2004.
5 million former Sporting Lisbon star has failed to nail down a regular starting place for the Magpies since arriving two years ago.
To nail down BRCA1's action, the researchers purified copies of the protein.
The correctives suggested in this book are difficult to nail down.
It was only when a window almost fell on top of a teacher that they sent workmen out to nail down the windows.
The six foot plus forward has been struggling to nail down a permanent place with Tyrone lately.
When astronomers find more of these stars, they'll further nail down.