fin·ger·nail | \ˈfiŋ-gər-ˌnāl, 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 Centers for Disease Control also prefers scraping the stinger with a fingernail over pinching it out. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "This Is the Only Thing You Should Do If a Bee Stings You," 6 June 2017 The Bulldogs never came close to scoring again in regulation, trying to hang on by their fingernails. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Georgia had Alabama and let it slip away; Bulldogs' breakthrough moment delayed again," 9 Jan. 2018 As the Diamondbacks pounded him, Hill felt a fingernail on his left middle finger crack. Andy Mccullough,, "Rich Hill not sharp in return, but it takes extras for the Diamondbacks to beat the Dodgers 8-5," 9 May 2018 Dirt caked her fingernails, tattoos decorated her arms, and a smile pulled at the corner of her lips. Silvia Foster-frau, San Antonio Express-News, "In hurricane’s aftermath, Puerto Rico moves from survival to revival," 20 Apr. 2018 And use enough pressure so that the ends of your fingernails on the blade go white, but don’t press harder than that. Josh Donald, Popular Mechanics, "The Right Way to Sharpen Kitchen Knives," 17 Nov. 2017 After going to the doctor, she was diagnosed with melanoma in her thumb, resulting in the loss of her fingernail and a thick scar. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "How This Woman's Acrylic Nails Reportedly Caused Melanoma​," 14 June 2018 Fujiko Shiraga, wife of the paint-by-feet Kazuo Shiraga, is represented by five-foot-high drawings of layered rice paper that the artist has scratched with her fingernails or torn in different ways. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Japanese Gutai in the 1950s: Fast and Fearless," 14 June 2018 Inside her home after a night’s work, Susannah took her time showering the grime from her body and cleaning the dirt from her fingernails. Chicago Tribune,, "Algren Award runner-up: "Here Is Where the Taxi Driver Set His Wife on Fire" by GKS Waller," 2 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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16 Oct 2018

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

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English Language Learners Definition of fingernail

: the hard covering at the end of your fingers


fin·ger·nail | \ˈfiŋ-gər-ˌnāl \

Kids Definition of fingernail

: the hard covering at the end of a finger


fin·ger·nail | \ˈfiŋ-gər-ˌnāl, ˌfiŋ-gər-ˈnā(ə)l \

Medical Definition of fingernail 

: the nail of a finger

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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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