- make certain, make sureI am trying to nail down the exact time that he will be able to meet with us.
name is mud
- a person's reputation becomes bad, one is in troubleHis name is mud now that he has been charged by the police with stealing money from his company.
name of the game
- the main part of a matterThe name of the game is for the salesmen to sell cars and not to worry about other things.
name someone after
- give someone another's nameHe was named after his mother's grandfather.
- an escape with no chance of errorHe had a narrow escape when he almost fell from his bicycle.
neck and neck
- equal or nearly equal in a race or contestThe two teams were neck and neck in the race to win the national championship.
neck of the woods
- an area or part of the countryHe has never been down to my neck of the woods since he was a child.
needle in a haystack
- something that is very hard to findLooking for the lost receipt among the thousands of other receipts is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
neither fish nor fowl
- something that does not belong to a definite groupI don't know where we should put those books in the library. They are neither fish nor fowl.
neither here nor there
- not relevant to the thing being discussed, off the subjectWhat you are saying is neither here nor there. We are talking about our plans to move this year - not 5 years in the future.
- a timid person who lacks determination and courageHe is a nervous Nellie and is afraid of most of the other students in the school.
- money someone has saved upHe has a nice nest egg in the bank so he will have no financial problems if he leaves his company.
- don't worry, don't botherIf you don't have time to pick up my laundry, never mind I will get it tomorrow.
- fresh energy or power, something or someone that gives new life or vigor to somethingShe a great employee and helped us to inject new blood into our organization.
new broom sweeps clean
- a new person makes many changesWe discovered the truth to the expression "a new broom sweeps clean" when our new boss changed everything in our organization.
- a complete change, a fresh start, another chanceHe was given a new deal by the team although the previous year he was not very good.
- a person who has become very much betterHe is a new person now that he has quit smoking and quit drinking.
nick of time
- at the very last momentHe was able to board the airplane just in the nick of time.
nip and tuck
- evenly matched, hard fought to the finishThey were going along nip and tuck but he finally won the race in the end.
nip in the bud
- prevent at the startThey found out about the computer problem but were able to nip the problem in the bud.
no bed of roses
- difficult or bad situationIt is no bed of roses to have no job and a large family to support.
- one's attention is somewhere else, having a simple mindIt looks like nobody's home, I thought as I tried to have a conversation with the strange man.
- a smart person, a person who can take care of himselfShe is nobody's fool. You will not have to worry about her at all when she goes to New York.
- not agreed to, refused or useless, no, certainly notI almost got the job but in the end it was no cigar.
- not agreed to, refused or useless, no, certainly notIt was no deal I realized as I left the meeting and the other members had all said no to my plan.
- No. Certainly not.No dice. I will never lend you that much money.
- without doubt, surely, certainlyNo doubt he will be the one to win the contest again this year.
- almost without stopping, continuallyThe little girl cried no end when she couldn't find her favorite doll.
no end to (of)
- so many or so much of, to seem almost endless, very many or very muchHe had no end of problems when he lived overseas for a year.
- not agreed to, refused or useless, no, certainly notIt's no go for our plan to have three games this weekend. We can only have two of them.
no great shakes
- mediocre, unimportantThe hotel was no great shakes and I wouldn't recommend that you stay there if you go to Hawaii.
no love lost
- bad feelings, ill willThere is no love lost between my father and our next door neighbor.
- regardless ofNo matter how hard that I try my tutor is never satisfied.
- not pleasant, difficultIt was no picnic trying to drive to the lake during the storm.
nose around (about)
- look for something kept private or secret, pryThe secretary was nosing around in her boss's desk trying to discover what was going on.
- head down, bring down the nose ofThe pilot began to nose down the plane as it neared the airport.
(have one's) nose in something
- unwelcome interest in something, impolite curiosityHe always has his nose in other people's private business where it doesn't belong.
nose out of joint
- upset about somethingHe was only joking; don't get your nose out of joint.
- a person who makes a reservation for something and then neither comes nor cancels itThere were several no-shows at the concert last night.
- easily accomplished, uncomplicatedThe work was no sweat. I finished it in about two hours.
- no problemNo sweat. I will help you all day tomorrow if you need me.
not a leg to stand on
- no good proof or excuse, no good evidence or defence to offer someoneThe company doesn't have a leg to stand on if they try to refuse to pay you the money that they owe you.
not for the world
- not at any price, not for anythingI wouldn't go out on a date with that woman for the world.
not give someone the time of day
- dislike someone so strongly that you totally ignore themI hate her and would never even give her the time of day.
- I will not do it, certainly not, no indeedNothing doing. I am not going to stay and work late again this evening.
nothing if not
- without doubt, certainlyHe is nothing if not punctual. He has never been late in his seven years with this company.
not much of
- rather badIt's not much of a hotel but I guess it will be okay for one night.
Not on your life.
- definitely not."May I borrow your car"? "Not on your life".
not so hot
- not very goodI have been feeling not so hot lately as I had a cold last week.
nothing to sneeze at
- something you should take seriouslyHis new salary is nothing to sneeze at.
not touch something with a ten-foot pole
- consider something completely undesirable or uninterestingThat class may be alright but because I hate the professor I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole.
- not surprisingNo wonder he is so tired after staying up all night.
now and then
- occasionallyHe likes to go to that restaurant now and then.
- oneself, one's own interestsHe is always looking out for number one and will never do anything for anyone else.
nurse a grudge
- keep a feeling of dislike toward some personMy old girlfriend is still nursing a grudge toward me even after three years.
- enthusiastic about somethingHe has been nuts about cars ever since he was a little boy.
nutty as a fruitcake
- very crazyThe woman who lives next door to us is as nutty as a fruitcake.