See Nether, and Sit, and cf. Eyas, Nidification, Nye.

1. The bed or receptacle prepared by a fowl for holding her eggs and for hatching and rearing her young. "The birds of the air have nests." (Matt. Viii. 20)

2. Hence: the place in which the eggs of other animals, as insects, turtles, etc, are laid and hatched; a snug place in which young animals are reared.

3. A snug, comfortable, or cozy residence or situation; a retreat, or place of habitual resort; hence, those who occupy a nest, frequent a haunt, or are associated in the same pursuit; as, a nest of traitors; a nest of bugs. "A little cottage, like some poor man's nest." (Spenser)

4. <geology> An aggregated mass of any ore or mineral, in an isolated state, within a rock.

5. A collection of boxes, cases, or the like, of graduated size, each put within the one next larger.

6. <mechanics> A compact group of pulleys, gears, springs, etc, working together or collectively. Nest egg, an egg left in the nest to prevent the hen from forsaking it, and to induce her to lay more in the same place; hence, figuratively, something laid up as the beginning of a fund or collection.

Origin: AS. Nest; akin to D. & G. Nest, Sw. Naste, L. Nidus, for nisdus, Skr. Nia resting place, nest; cf. Lith. Lizdas, Arm. Neiz, Gael. & Ir. Nead. Prob. From the particle ni down, Skr. Ni + the root of E. Sit, and thus orig, a place to sit down in.

(01 Mar 1998)

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