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nod (v.)

late 14c., "to quickly bow the head; to assent, beckon, or salute quickly by an inclination of the head," late 14c., nodden, a word of unknown origin, probably an Old English word, but not recorded, or perhaps from a Low German word related to Old High German hnoton "to shake," from Proto-Germanic *hnudan (OED considers this "doubtful"). Apparently unrelated to Latin nuere "to nod." Related: Nodded; nodding

Meaning "droop the head forward with a short, involuntary motion," as when drowsy, is by 1560s. Figurative sense of "be guilty of a lapse, be momentarily inattentive" is by 1670s, echoing Horace's dormitat Homerus. Of flowers, etc., "to droop or bend downward," c. 1600. Meaning "to drift in and out of consciousness while on drugs" is attested by 1968 (as a noun in this sense by 1942).

A nodding acquaintance (by 1821) is one you know just well enough to recognize with a nod. Land of Nod "state of sleep" (1731) is a pun on the biblical place name east of Eden (Genesis iv.16). 

nod (n.)

"short, quick, forward and downward motion of the head," voluntary or not, 1530s, from nod (v.).

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Definitions of nod
1
nod (v.)
express or signify by nodding;
He nodded his approval
nod (v.)
lower and raise the head, as to indicate assent or agreement or confirmation;
The teacher nodded when the student gave the right answer
nod (v.)
let the head fall forward through drowsiness;
The old man was nodding in his chair
nod (v.)
sway gently back and forth, as in a nodding motion;
the flowers were nodding in the breeze
nod (v.)
be almost asleep;
The old man sat nodding by the fireplace
2
nod (n.)
a sign of assent or salutation or command;
nod (n.)
the act of nodding the head;
From wordnet.princeton.edu