a nail of a toe.
Carpentry. a nail driven obliquely.
Printing Slang. a parenthesis.

verb (used with object)

Carpentry. to secure with oblique nailing.

Origin of toenail

First recorded in 1835–45; toe + nail Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for toenail

Contemporary Examples of toenail

Historical Examples of toenail

  • From a knife to a toenail, they was nothing that Levine couldn't use in a fight.

  • So Scraggs, mustering his courage, flew at poor Hicks tooth and toenail.

    Captain Scraggs

    Peter B. Kyne

  • A toenail, particularly twisted, has been traced through three generations, on the same foot and toe.

  • She complained exceedingly and for a long time about the thickening of a toenail, even after the thickened part had been removed.

  • Cut all corner posts exactly the same length, toenail at corners to sill, and hold in position by temporary braces.

    Carpentry and Woodwork

    Edwin W. Foster

British Dictionary definitions for toenail



a thin horny translucent plate covering part of the dorsal surface of the end joint of each toeRelated adjectives: ungual, ungular
carpentry a nail driven obliquely, as in joining one beam at right angles to another
printing slang a parenthesis


(tr) carpentry to join (beams) by driving nails obliquely
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 toenail

also toe-nail, 1735, from toe (n.) + nail (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

toenail in Medicine




The thin, horny, transparent plate covering the upper surface of the end of a toe.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.