Definition of cuticle
1 : an outer covering layer: such asa : an external envelope (as of an insect) secreted usually by epidermal cellsb : the outermost layer of animal integument composed of epidermisc : a thin continuous fatty or waxy film on the external surface of many higher plants that consists chiefly of cutind : 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)
cuticularplay \kyu̇-ˈti-kyə-lər\ adjective
Recent Examples of cuticle from the Web
These actins form the template on which the rest of the scale’s cuticle will be laid down, and foreshadow the fine ribs of the finished scale.
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.
Origin and Etymology of cuticle
Latin cuticula, diminutive of cutis skin — more at hide
First Known Use: 1615
CUTICLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of cuticle for English Language Learners
: the layer of dead or hard skin around the base of a fingernail or toenail
CUTICLE Defined for Kids
Definition of cuticle for Students
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
Medical Definition of cuticle
1: an outer covering layer: asa: the outermost layer of integument composed of epidermisb: 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)
Seen and Heard
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