NICK. n.s. [nicke, Teutonick, the twinkling of an eye.]
I. Exact point of time at which there is necessity or convenience.
That great instrument of state had foreknowledge of it,
but suffered the fatal thread to be spun out to that length
for some politick respects, and then to cut it off in the very
nick. Howel’s Vocal Forest.
What in our watches that in us is sound,
So to the height and nick we up be wound,
No matter by what hand or trick. Suckling.
Had it come in the nick,
Had touch’d us to the quick. Denham.
Though dame fortune seem to smile,
And leer upon him for a while;
She’ll after she him in the nick
Of all his glories a dog trick. Hudibras, p. i. con. 3.
And some with symbols, sighs, and tricks,
Engraved in planetary nicks,
With their own influences will fetch them
Down from their orbs, arrest and catch them. Hud.
This nick of time is the critical occasion for the gaining
of a point. L’Estrange.
2. A notch cut in any thing. [Corrupted from nick or notch.]
3. A score; a reckoning.
Launce his man told me, he lov’d her art of all nick. Shak.
4. A winning throw. [niche, Fr. a ludicrous trick.]
Come, seven’s the main,
Cries Ganymede; the usual trick
Seven, slur a fix, eleven a nick. Prior.