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[fing-ger-neyl] /ˈfɪŋ gərˌneɪl/
the nail at the end of a finger.
Printing. a parenthesis.
Origin of fingernail
Middle English word dating back to 1200-50; See origin at finger, nail Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fingernail
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He examined the handwork on the hilt, then snapped a fingernail against the blade.

    The Players Everett B. Cole
  • He yanked off the cover, losing most of a fingernail in the process, and removed the fuse.

    The Status Civilization Robert Sheckley
  • John caught the tip of the needle with his fingernail and bent it back again.

    A Son of the City

    Herman Gastrell Seely
  • She traced a line or two with her fingernail, and dropped my hand to the walnut.

    Tinker's Dam Joseph Tinker
  • A black pellet the size of his fingernail dropped into his palm.

    Deathworld Harry Harrison
  • She had been having trouble with her pen point and was picking at it with her fingernail.

    When the Owl Cries Paul Bartlett
  • He nodded toward the ape-man, while with his own fingernail he wrote.

    The Onslaught from Rigel Fletcher Pratt
  • A moment later be cursed himself, and felt the bracelet with his fingernail.

  • Hellman punctured the seal with his fingernail and set the bottle on the floor.

    One Man's Poison Robert Sheckley
British Dictionary definitions for fingernail


a thin horny translucent plate covering part of the dorsal surface of the end joint of each finger related adjectives ungual ungular
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fingernail

early 13c., from finger (n.) + nail (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fingernail in Medicine

fingernail fin·ger·nail (fĭng'gər-nāl')
The nail on a finger.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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