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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 in Christianity. 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

in (good, poor, etc.) nick

In a certain condition, as specified by the adjective used before "nick." Can be used to refer to the physical condition of something or to someone's health. Primarily heard in UK. Our local football club has struggled in the last few years. We don't get many new players, and our pitch has been in poor nick for as long as I can remember. He had a long road to recovery after the surgery, but he's in good nick now.
See also: nick

nick (one) for (something)

To cheat or swindle someone out of something, especially money. The crooked mayor reportedly nicked taxpayers for nearly $1 million during his time in public office. Because they have a near-monopoly in the concert distribution market, the company is able to nick customers for all sorts of bogus extra charges that they add in at the last second.
See also: nick

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, someone

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 ?
While it remains to be seen how far Nick went to teach the man a lesson, it won't be a big surprise if Nick's decision to go against the presumed wife beater is revealed to be the reason why he's no longer a detective.
In the original version, which he crossed out, the movement of the trout that Nick sees comes mainly in one complex sentence where Hemingway subordinates his watching the trout to its shooting out of the stream and re-entering:
But Nick was determined to make his dream come true.
For the past 17 years, Nick has advanced up the management ladder at Commissionaires Ottawa to become Senior Business Operations Manager.
Nick was arrested in October 2013, along with five other British workers for the alleged illegal possession of weapons, while working for Advan-Fort who provide protection to other ships from pirate attacks.
With all the information she discovered, Shelly set about trying to give Nick the best life possible.
Not fool enough to lower his point, Nick grinned at him.
We felt we had been cheated in a way by not getting a gold post box for Nick, especially when Royal Mail chose Alcester instead.
Many relationships are chronicled in Greetings from Below, and many moments of intimacy that are both awkward and revelatory, but the most satisfying conflict comes when Nick returns home to face his widowed mother, as in the story "A Familiar Place.
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.
7] The Laying on of Hands is Nick Twemlow's personal story and as such it is not clear what it tells us about religion or healing.
1 entertainment channel for kids presents 'Nick TV Superstar', an initiative that will allow kids to star in the next Nick advertisement on TV
CLINTON - Debbie Casasanto thought her son, Nick, had a bad case of the flu.
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.