Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Nab \Nab\ (n[a^]b), n. [Cf. Knap, Knop, Knob.]
The summit of an eminence. [Prov. Eng.]
(Firearms) The cock of a gunlock.
(Locksmithing) The keeper, or box into which the lock is shot.
Nab \Nab\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Nabbed (n[a^]bd); p. pr. & vb. n. Nabbing.] [Dan nappe, or Sw. nappa.]
To catch or seize suddenly or unexpectedly. [Colloq.]
To capture; to arrest; as, the police nabbed the culprit wtrying to hide in the basement.
Etymology 1 alt. 1 (context transitive English) To seize, arrest or take into custody a criminal or fugitive 2 (context transitive English) To grab or snatch something vb. 1 (context transitive English) To seize, arrest or take into custody a criminal or fugitive 2 (context transitive English) To grab or snatch something Etymology 2
n. 1 The summit of an eminence. 2 The cock of a gunlock. 3 (context locksmithing English) The keeper, or box into which the lock is shot.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
"to catch (someone)," 1680s, probably a variant of dialectal nap "to seize, catch, lay hold of" (1670s, now surviving only in kidnap), which possibly is from Scandinavian (compare Norwegian nappe, Swedish nappa "to catch, snatch;" Danish nappe "to pinch, pull"); reinforced by Middle English napand "grasping, greedy." Related: Nabbed; nabbing. Nabbing-cull was old slang for "constable," and Farmer & Henley has "TO NAB THE STIFLES = to be hanged."
Nab may refer to:
- National Accountability Bureau, Pakistan
- National Australia Bank, one of the big four Australian banks
- National Association of Broadcasters
- Nab Tower, a lighthouse in England
- The Nab, a fell in the English Lake District
- New American Bible, Catholic Bible translation
Usage examples of "nab".
Josef and Filip were gone into position to do their part of the mission and nab a prisoner.
Bodger and Grift would force fancies and sweetmeats on her like a pair of maiden aunts, Nabber brought her gifts like an overardent suitor, and Maybor checked in on her by the hour like a nursemaid.
Tawl, Grift, Nabber, and Jack downed the last of their ale in silence.
Admittedly, they did not know how to nab, stab, or otherwise stop that one-armed lunatic without throwing away a fortune in legal fees and court costs, but they kept hoping desperately that some land of deus ex machina would intercede for them.
I nearly nabbed you once, Mulley, when you were passing phony money for the counterfeiting gang in St.
But when he got the water of life down the common sewer, he bullyragged so antiscripturally that the barney hipped and nabbed the rust.
Anyway, they were nice panties, and they had helped Mela Merwoman to nab her husband, which was the point of the whole adventure,.
In Somalia, Persico and his team had been committed to help save the Ranger company that got bushwhacked trying to nab Aideed.
Flinging away his cigarette, Reggie grabbed for Clyde, nabbed him with a powerful grip that belied his unmuscular appearance.
Wanting to nab an expert astrogeologist, just like they took his colleague a couple of months ago.
I was in a damnyankee prison camp because the bastards nabbed me when I was up at the front.
I can see there is nothing so nice about the night, at that, so I try to think of something else jolly to say, while Little Isadore keeps spearing at my gefillte fish with his fingers, and Spanish John nabs one of my potatoes.
I had to nab you, and I wanted to wait until you shot a potluck to be certain you had the map.
We stopped along the way for more coffee, and more donuts, and peanut butter Nabs, and prewrapped ham sandwiches, and pre-condimented cheeseburgers, and chicken deepfried in cholesterol.
Operation Roughrider nabs on drug and weapons charges on May 2 that year.