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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.

Old Nick

An old-fashioned name for the Devil of the Christian faith. Primarily heard in UK. After dating a vegetarian for six month, I would sell my soul to Old Nick for a big, juicy steak right about now.
See also: nick, old

in the nick of time

At the last possible moment before a deadline or before something begins or ends; just in time. That car moved off the track in the nick of time—another moment and the train would have smashed into it. You got here in the nick of time—we're just about to start the show.
See also: nick, of, time

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

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

in the nick of time

COMMON If something happens in the nick of time, it happens at the last possible moment, when it is almost too late. She woke up just in the nick of time and raised the alarm. They got to the hospital in the nick of time, just as the baby was about to be born.
See also: nick, of, time

in — nick

in a specified condition. British informal
1997 Ian Rankin Black & Blue Don't be fooled by the wheezing old pensioner routine. Eve's around fifty, still in good nick.
See also: nick

in the nick of time

only just in time; just at the critical moment.
Nick is used here in the sense of ‘the precise moment of an occurrence or an event’. This form of the phrase dates from the mid 17th century, but in the (very ) nick is recorded from the late 16th century.
1985 Nini Herman My Kleinian Home Time and again, when all seemed lost, I somehow won through in the nick of time.
See also: nick, of, time

nick someone for

cheat someone out of something, typically a sum of money. North American informal
1962 Washington Daily News Taxpayers… have heard rumblings that they might be nicked for about a million dollars each year to subsidize professional sports here.
See also: nick

in good, bad, etc. ˈnick

(British English, informal) in good/bad condition or health: When I last saw him he looked in pretty good nick.She wants to sell the bike, but she won’t get very much for it because it’s in terrible nick.
See also: nick

in the ˌnick of ˈtime

(informal) at the last possible moment; just in time: He got to the railway station in the nick of time.He remembered in the nick of time that his passport was in his coat pocket.
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.