cu·​ti·​cle | \ ˈkyü-ti-kəl How to pronounce cuticle (audio) \

Definition of cuticle

1 : an outer covering layer: such as
a : an external envelope (as of an insect) secreted usually by epidermal cells
b : the outermost layer of animal integument composed of epidermis
c : a thin continuous fatty or waxy film on the external surface of many higher plants that consists chiefly of cutin
d : the outermost membranous layer of a hair consisting of overlapping scales of epithelial cells
2 : dead or horny epidermis (such as that surrounding the base and sides of a fingernail)

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Other Words from cuticle

cuticular \ kyu̇-​ˈti-​kyə-​lər How to pronounce cuticle (audio) \ adjective

Examples of cuticle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During our episode, Douglas explains that heat rushes through the tiny cracks on the surface of the cuticle, causing abrasions to spread. Amber Rambharose, Allure, "The Science of Beauty: How to Take Care of Curly Hair," 10 Dec. 2020 Lightening your hair to white-blonde levels requires the use of either hydrogen peroxide or bleach to create an irreversible chemical reaction in your hair cuticle, explains Ess. Bianca Rodriguez, Marie Claire, "How to Go Platinum Blonde Without Destroying Your Hair," 30 Nov. 2020 Nail brand Pear Nova is offering customers a buy one, get one 50% off deal on their hydrating cuticle oil and range of individual gel and classic polishes until November 28. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "57 Black Friday Beauty Deals to Shop Now," 27 Nov. 2020 This hot air brush has ionic technology to seal the hair cuticle and prevent frizz. Fiona Tapp, CNN Underscored, "Our favorite picks from the Amazon Canada holiday gift guide," 24 Nov. 2020 Spiked with apple cider vinegar, the liquid seals the hair cuticle while aloe vera repairs heat damage. Angela Trakoshis, Allure, "Sephora's Black Friday Sale Is Even Better Than Last Year," 19 Nov. 2020 Then, use a tool to secure gold gems ($4, Etsy) with nail glue ($1, Sally Beauty) right around the cuticle of your index finger. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, "5 Thanksgiving Nail Designs to Let Your Manicure Take Center Stage This Year," 16 Nov. 2020 On most fingers the color was darker near the cuticle and got lighter toward the end of the nail. Lisa Sanders, New York Times, "His Fingernails Were Purple but Didn’t Hurt. What Was This?," 15 Oct. 2020 Various physical and chemical factors (both environmental and cosmetic) can cause progressive damage to the cuticle that normally protects our hair. Katie Berohn, Good Housekeeping, "How To Get Rid of Split Ends Without Cutting Your Hair," 2 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cuticle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cuticle

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cuticle

Latin cuticula, diminutive of cutis skin — more at hide

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Time Traveler for cuticle

Time Traveler

The first known use of cuticle was in 1615

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Statistics for cuticle

Last Updated

29 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cuticle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for cuticle


How to pronounce cuticle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cuticle

: the layer of dead or hard skin around the base of a fingernail or toenail


cu·​ti·​cle | \ ˈkyü-ti-kəl How to pronounce cuticle (audio) \

Kids Definition of cuticle

1 : an outer layer (as of skin or a leaf) often produced by the cells beneath
2 : a dead or hard layer of skin especially around a fingernail


cu·​ti·​cle | \ ˈkyüt-i-kəl How to pronounce cuticle (audio) \

Medical Definition of cuticle

1 : an outer covering layer: as
a : the outermost layer of integument composed of epidermis
b : the outermost membranous layer of a hair consisting of cornified epithelial cells
2 : dead or horny epidermis (as that surrounding the base and sides of a fingernail or toenail)

Other Words from cuticle

cuticular \ kyu̇-​ˈtik-​yə-​lər How to pronounce cuticle (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on cuticle

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