Definition of hangnail in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈhaNGˌnāl/


A piece of torn skin at the root of a fingernail.
Example sentences
  • Children who bite their fingernails or pick at hangnails are more likely to get warts.
  • I saw that I had torn the hangnail right off my finger without even noticing.
  • Tory found it was harder to keep calm if she was looking at Nell, and pretended to study a hangnail on her ring finger.


Late 17th century: alteration of agnail 'painful swelling around a nail' (from Old English angnægl, denoting a corn on the toe), influenced by hang.

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