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A Nut: basically, is a piece of material, usually with at least two parallel faces, though
which a circular hole is formed at right angles, with a thread upon this internally 
cylindrical surface. 

The surrounding shape tends to take any form compatible with the designers' 
fancy such as those illustrated. 

Different Types Of Nuts

Hexagon Thick Nut Hexagon Thick Slotted Nut
Regular Square Nut Cap (Acorn) Nut 
Hexagon Castle Nut High Slotted Nut
Hexagon Jam Nut Track Bolt Nut
Machine Screw Nuts Hexagon Slotted Nut
Locknut ::: Definition 

A nut which has a special means within 
itself for gripping a threaded fastener or 
the connected material so that the 
rotation is resisted in service. 

Free-spinning locknuts: upper half of two piece nut (a) presses collar of lower half against bolt ; captive toothed washer (b) provides locking with spring action; 
ratchet teeth; (c) bite into bearing surface
(d) flows around bolt to lock and seal and
arched prongs (e) of single - thread lock
nut grip screw.
Locknut, Free Spinning.

A locknut which can be assembled or turned freely on the threaded fastener and develops locking action only after being tightened against a base surface. 

Locknut, prevailing torque. A locknut which locks at any position on the threaded fastener, whether or not it is sealed against a base surface. Usually has a locking element that resists rotation as soon as it emerges the externally threaded part. 

Prevailing-torque locknuts : deformed thread (a) has depression in the face of 
the nut to distort a few threads; slotted section; (b) forms beams that deflect inward and grip bolt; threaded elliptical spring; steel insert; (c) produce locking
and non metallic plug insert (d) grips 
bolt threads; out of round threads (e) causes wedging action.  
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