[ kyoo-ti-kuhl ]

  1. the nonliving epidermis that surrounds the edges of the fingernail or toenail.

  2. the epidermis.

  1. a superficial integument, membrane, or the like.

  2. Also called cuticula. Zoology. the outer, noncellular layer of the arthropod integument, composed of a mixture of chitin and protein and commonly containing other hardening substances as well.

  3. Botany. a very thin hyaline film covering the surface of plants, derived from the outer surfaces of the epidermal cells.

Origin of cuticle

1605–15; <Latin cutīcula the skin, equivalent to cuti(s) skin, cutis + -cula-cle1

Other words from cuticle

  • cu·tic·u·lar [kyoo-tik-yuh-ler], /kyuˈtɪk yə lər/, adjective
  • sub·cu·tic·u·lar, adjective

Words Nearby cuticle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use cuticle in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cuticle


/ (ˈkjuːtɪkəl) /

  1. dead skin, esp that round the base of a fingernail or toenail

  2. another name for epidermis

  1. any covering layer or membrane

  2. the protective layer, containing cutin, that covers the epidermis of higher plants

  3. the hard protective layer covering the epidermis of many invertebrates

Origin of cuticle

C17: from Latin cutīcula diminutive of cutis skin

Derived forms of cuticle

  • cuticular (kjuːˈtɪkjʊlə), adjective

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

Scientific definitions for cuticle


[ kyōōtĭ-kəl ]

  1. The noncellular, hardened or membranous protective covering of many invertebrates, such as the transparent membrane that covers annelids.

  2. A layer of wax and cutin that covers the outermost surfaces of a plant. The cuticle is secreted by the epidermis and helps prevent water loss and infection by parasites.

  1. The hard skin around the sides and base of a fingernail or toenail.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.