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

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 Extra also noted back in 2017, that Jordan at one point had an injury after his partner, Lindsay Arnold, accidentally scraped his eye with her fingernail. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Dancing With the Stars Juniors' Host Jordan Fisher Had a Tough Time on 'DWTS'," 2 Oct. 2018 Following the first full photo of Stormi Webster being posted on Instagram, Kylie Jenner has been receiving backlash over something completely unexpected—the length of her fingernails. Amy Mackelden, Marie Claire, "Kylie Jenner's Long Fingernails Are Causing Controversy," 3 Mar. 2018 This will make the wax bits brittle and easy to nudge off with a dull knife or even just your fingernail. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Way to Remove Candle Wax from Clothes, Carpet, and More," 24 Dec. 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

17 Apr 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).


an act or instance of returning to life

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