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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fingernail

Contemporary Examples of fingernail

Historical Examples of fingernail

  • 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.

  • 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.


    Harry Harrison

British Dictionary definitions for fingernail



a thin horny translucent plate covering part of the dorsal surface of the end joint of each fingerRelated 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

Word Origin and History for fingernail

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fingernail in Medicine




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.