cu·​ti·​cle | \ ˈkyü-ti-kəl \

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 \ adjective

Examples of cuticle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

New products are designed to harness the cuticle-opening power of high temperatures and deliver rich moisture. Leah Melby Clinton, Marie Claire, "Color Your Hair? Four Things You Should Never Do in the Shower," 16 Nov. 2018 Jordan knew the proper cuticle care, Jason gave the best massages, and Jean Blanc knew just how to work that metal head scratcher. Becca Kufrin,, "Bachelorette Becca Kufrin on That 'Embarrassing' Group Date — and Falling for One 'Standup Man'," 9 July 2018 Once the gel starts crumbling off, use a cuticle pusher to gently push the polish off of your nail bed (do not file or scrape). Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "How to Remove Gel Nail Polish Yourself," 28 Dec. 2017 Push cuticles down and file nails, then wipe down legs and feet with a hot towel. Nicole Catanese, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best Pedicure Of The Summer," 20 May 2014 Miss Pop recommends using cuticle oil and moisturizer. Elizabeth Denton, Seventeen, "13 Things You Need To Know Before Getting a Gel Manicure," 16 July 2018 Most of the benefits of standard formulas come from coating the hair's surface to smooth and protect the cuticle. Eden Univer, Teen Vogue, "How To Take A Shower The Right Way," 2 Feb. 2018 Over-brushing will lift the cuticles of your hair and break it, which makes your hair look dull because light won't reflect on it. Kristi Kellogg, Teen Vogue, "How To Brush Your Hair: 7 Tips For Brushing Your Hair The Right Way," 6 Sep. 2018 In particular, that work relied on molecules called plant waxes: alkanoic acids with long chains of carbon, formed in the cuticles of plant leaves. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Carbon impact of ancient Maya farming may still be felt," 22 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for cuticle

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cuticle

The first known use of cuticle was in 1615

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More Definitions for cuticle



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 \

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 \

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 \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on cuticle

Spanish Central: Translation of cuticle

Nglish: Translation of cuticle for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about cuticle

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