[ hang-neyl ]
/ ˈhæŋˌneɪl /


a small piece of partly detached skin at the side or base of the fingernail.
Compare whitlow.

Origin of hangnail

1300–50; Middle English angenayle corn, Old English angnægl, equivalent to ang- (variant of enge narrow, painful; cognate with German eng, see anger) + nægl callus, nail; modern h- by association with hang
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for hangnail

British Dictionary definitions for hangnail

/ (ˈhæŋˌneɪl) /


a piece of skin torn away from, but still attached to, the base or side of a fingernail

Word Origin for hangnail

C17: from Old English angnægl, from enge tight + nægl nail; influenced by hang
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

Medical definitions for hangnail

[ hăngnāl′ ]


A small piece of dead skin at the side or the base of a fingernail that is partly detached from the rest of the skin.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.