fin·​ger·​nail | \ ˈfiŋ-gər-ˌnāl How to pronounce fingernail (audio) , ˌfiŋ-gər-ˈnāl\

Definition of fingernail

: the nail of a finger

Examples of fingernail in a Sentence

I trimmed and filed my fingernails. He had dirt under his fingernails.

Recent Examples on the Web

One woman wore glossy black latex gloves and had fingernails like stilettos. Sophie Ouellette-howitz, SELF, "This Is Why You Should Pay for Porn," 7 Nov. 2018 The raccoon, clearly not ready to give up and not a fan of ladders, jolted from the recess of the building, dug its long fingernails into the tan exterior and scurried over to another side. Matthew Haag, New York Times, "Daredevil Raccoon Climbs Minnesota Skyscraper and Becomes a Sensation," 13 June 2018 The brunette was kissing the blonde on the cheek, digging her fingernails into her ass. Robert Radin, Marie Claire, "My Sister's Secret Life as a Porn Star," 18 May 2015 The group’s motto: No one leaves Plum Island without dirt under their fingernails and knowledge within their soul. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Women in Preservation teaches construction skills on Door County's Plum Island," 7 June 2018 Look for signs that may include: Unresponsiveness Slow breathing or no breathing Blue skin (especially the lips or under the fingernails) Snoring or guttural noises Naloxone only works if the person has used opiates. Tessie Castillo, SELF, "Here’s How to Use the Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug Naloxone," 26 July 2018 From forming shapes and lines, edging the nail bed, to turning a fingernail into a crystal crustacean, there's a real art to using embellishments well. Allison Carey,, "New year, new nails, what's new in manicures: Style Resolutions 2018 (photos)," 8 Jan. 2018 Semanchik successfully petitioned for Cheek’s bra, jeans, socks, shoes and fingernails to be retested for DNA. Sandra E. Garcia, The Seattle Times, "DNA evidence exonerates a man of murder after 20 years in prison," 16 Oct. 2018 Scientists estimate that the equivalent of 4000 Great Pyramids of Giza have been excavated by soft-bodied bugs no longer than your fingernail. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Found: A Field of Termite Mounds You Can See From Space," 19 Nov. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of fingernail

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fingernail

Statistics for fingernail

Last Updated

1 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fingernail

The first known use of fingernail was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fingernail



English Language Learners Definition of fingernail

: the hard covering at the end of your fingers


fin·​ger·​nail | \ ˈfiŋ-gər-ˌnāl How to pronounce fingernail (audio) \

Kids Definition of fingernail

: the hard covering at the end of a finger


fin·​ger·​nail | \ ˈfiŋ-gər-ˌnāl, ˌfiŋ-gər-ˈnā(ə)l How to pronounce fingernail (audio) \

Medical Definition of fingernail

: the nail of a finger

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fingernail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fingernail

Spanish Central: Translation of fingernail

Nglish: Translation of fingernail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fingernail for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fingernail

Comments on fingernail

What made you want to look up fingernail? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something valued as if it were money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!