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

Then, work your fingernail under the edge of the film of glue and carefully peel it off. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Remove Super Glue," 24 June 2019 The melodic whisper-voice put me into a state of calm bliss, in a way that was no less satisfying than watching a YouTuber tap her fingernails against the microphone, or hearing the soft bristles of a paintbrush coursing against a blank wall. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "Small Sounds, Big Money: The Commercialization of ASMR," 20 June 2019 The red fingernail has since become his way of honoring his mom's advice. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The Touching Reason Why Penn Jillette Has a Red Fingernail on 'Penn and Teller: Fool Us'," 17 June 2019 Western medicine so far has found no evidence that pangolin scales, which consist of keratin, the same material that makes up fingernails, hair, and rhino horn, have any physiological effects on humans. Paul Hilton, National Geographic, "Poaching is sending the shy, elusive pangolin to its doom," 17 June 2019 After Karina Vetrano was killed while jogging in a secluded park in Queens, investigators analyzed DNA samples from her skin, fingernails and cellphone. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "Retrial of Man Accused of 2016 Slaying of Jogger Begins in Queens," 18 Mar. 2019 Close-ups of Harry’s hands showed that his fingernails were meticulously painted with black and teal polish, adding a pop of color to his entire ensemble — truly the vibrant cherry on top of an already dramatic look. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Harry Styles Wears Gucci Sheer Blouse at the Met Gala 2019," 6 May 2019 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

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.

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First Known Use of fingernail

13th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for fingernail

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for fingernail

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

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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

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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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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