thumb·​nail | \ ˈthəm-ˌnāl How to pronounce thumbnail (audio) , -ˈnāl \

Definition of thumbnail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the nail of the thumb
2 : a miniature computer graphic sometimes hyperlinked to a full-size version



Definition of thumbnail (Entry 2 of 2)

: concise, brief a thumbnail sketch

Examples of thumbnail in a Sentence

Noun You can see a larger version of the picture by clicking on the thumbnail. Adjective a thumbnail outline of the plot of the novel
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The sign consists of 225 thumbnail-size portraits: all these average Americans posing for the camera, unaware of the place in posterity that awaited them. Mark Feeney,, 25 May 2022 The procedure begins with a thumbnail size piece of skin removed from the patient. John Keilman,, 15 Mar. 2022 The website thumbnail, which Car and Driver was able to find in a higher-definition version, shows the Equinox EV in a hitherto unseen pose—a side view—with an electric blue body and a white roof. Sasha Richie, Car and Driver, 21 July 2022 When fully grown, these forest amphibians are smaller than a human thumbnail. Joanna Thompson, Scientific American, 21 June 2022 Kardashian posted a photo to her Instagram Stories showing her thumb atop Barker's — his is the tattooed one, FYI — showing off their new thumbnail designs. Marci Robin, Allure, 2 May 2022 You will be asked to give the video a title, a description, a thumbnail and other details. Orlando Mayorquin, USA TODAY, 22 Apr. 2022 By contrast, Barton’s thumbnail biographies of George Washington’s ten nominees show that most were considered the leading lawyers in their states. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, 17 Mar. 2022 At birth, the joey is about the size of a human thumbnail. Maureen Mackey, Fox News, 30 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Between the two fences that separate Reggie’s enclosure from the public is a sign with the thumbnail version of his remarkable journey to the Los Angeles Zoo 15 years ago today. Los Angeles Times, 24 May 2022 What follows is a thumbnail survey of prison museums throughout the United States, selected for their geographic spread; some are widely known, while others are small gems that deserve a closer look. Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2022 So the thumbnail version that gets repeated is that the concept of telework was invented by a guy called Jack Nilles, who was a NASA engineer who’s actually still alive. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 13 Jan. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of thumbnail


1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1852, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for thumbnail

Time Traveler

The first known use of thumbnail was in 1604

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Dictionary Entries Near thumbnail

thumb mold


thumbnail sketch

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Statistics for thumbnail

Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Thumbnail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on thumbnail

Nglish: Translation of thumbnail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thumbnail for Arabic Speakers


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