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thumbnail

[thuhm-neyl] /ˈθʌmˌneɪl/
noun
1.
the nail of the thumb.
2.
anything quite small or brief, as a small drawing or short essay.
3.
Printing. a small, rough dummy.
4.
Also called porkchop. Journalism, Printing. a half-column portrait in a newspaper.
adjective
5.
quite small or brief; concise:
a thumbnail description of Corsica.
verb (used with object)
6.
to make a thumbnail sketch or description of.
Origin of thumbnail
1595-1605
First recorded in 1595-1605; thumb + nail
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for thumbnail
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The whole code of her laws may be written on the thumbnail, or the signet of a ring.

    Essays, Second Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • She was only as large as a thumbnail, but she carried a gigantic secret.

    Beyond the Vanishing Point Raymond King Cummings
  • Each painting is shown as a thumbnail linked to a larger view.

  • I picked at it with the thumbnail and the nail caught something hard.

    Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith
  • My thumbnail had lifted a tiny circle no larger than the head of a pin.

    Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith
  • thumbnail views of all pages are shown at the end of the file.

    On the Tree Top Clara Doty Bates
  • She brooded there a minute or two, tapping her teeth with her thumbnail.

    Legacy James H Schmitz
  • She knew where the bones joined: there she cut him with her thumbnail.

    Seven Mohave Myths A. L. Kroeber
  • In each one of these thumbnail impressions the man is reflected.

    Beggars

    W. H. (William Henry) Davies
British Dictionary definitions for thumbnail

thumbnail

/ˈθʌmˌneɪl/
noun
1.
the nail of the thumb
2.
(modifier) concise and brief: a thumbnail sketch
3.
(computing) a small image which can be expanded
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 thumbnail
n.

c.1600, from thumb (n.) + nail (n.). Meaning "drawing or sketch of a small size" (though usually not lierally the size of a thumbnail) is from 1852.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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