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

With rings on most fingers and precariously long fingernails, Nop moves awkwardly, at times jerkily. Matt Blomberg,, "There's a reason that the soccer team rescued from a cave in Thailand was so tough and resilient," 11 July 2018 The last step calls for detailed fingernails to be painted and added. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Watch Hyper-Realistic Skin Get Made for Bionic Limbs," 17 June 2018 While such a fragrant addition would have been pretty cool when saliva was part of the attachment process (lick-and-taste stamps, anyone?), hard to see how scents released by fingernail will rescue the postal service. Scott Craven, USA TODAY, "Here's the scratch-n-sniff stamp scents we really wish the USPS would unveil," 21 May 2018 Nail brush: Even the cleanest of campers get dirt under their fingernails, so opt for a nail brush ($5.49 for a pack of four)—it’s especially helpful when traveling with the kiddos. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The ultimate van life shopping guide," 14 Nov. 2018 Pinterest users are even excited about extending the sparkle trend to their fingernails. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Pinterest Shared Its Most Popular Holiday Beauty Routines for 2018," 6 Nov. 2018 Chair legs screech against it throughout the evening like fingernails on a blackboard. Steven Stolman, Town & Country, "A Clear-Eyed Assessment of the New Four Seasons—By Someone Who Loved the Old One," 7 Sep. 2018 My mother had a backscratcher that was black enamel bamboo and at one end was a realistic hand with long fake fingernails. Lisa Scottoline,, "I've got an itch to scratch | Lisa Scottoline," 3 May 2018 The Villages Daily Sun, taps her scoresheet with glittery green appliqué fingernails. Claire Mcneill, Bon Appetit, "Inside the National Pie Championships: Keep Calm and Carry Cool Whip," 13 Apr. 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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Last Updated

25 Dec 2018

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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 \

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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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

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


marked by shyness and lack of polish

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