hangnail (n.) also hang-nail, 1670s, apparently from HANG (Cf. hang) (v.) + (finger) nail, but probably folk etymology from O.E. agnail "a corn on the foot, painful spike (in the flesh)" from P.Gmc. *ang- "compressed, hard, painful" (from PIE *angh- "tight, painfully constricted, painful;" see ANGER (Cf. anger)) + O.E. nægl "spike" (see NAIL (Cf. nail) (n.)).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Hangnail — Hang nail ( n[=a]l ), n. [A corruption of agnail.] A small piece or sliver of skin which hangs loose, near the root of a finger nail. Holloway. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hangnail — ► NOUN ▪ a piece of torn skin at the root of a fingernail. ORIGIN alteration of agnail «painful swelling around a nail», from Old English; influenced by HANG(Cf. ↑hang) …   English terms dictionary

  • hangnail — [haŋ′nāl΄] n. [altered (by pop. assoc. with HANG) < AGNAIL] a bit of torn skin hanging at the side or base of a fingernail …   English World dictionary

  • Hangnail — A hangnail or agnail is a small, torn piece of skin near a fingernail or toenail. Unlike whitlows, hangnails are usually caused by dry skin or (in the case of fingernails) nail biting, and may be prevented with proper moisturization of the… …   Wikipedia

  • hangnail — UK [ˈhæŋˌneɪl] / US noun [countable] Word forms hangnail : singular hangnail plural hangnails a painful piece of loose skin at the side of a nail …   English dictionary

  • Hangnail (disambiguation) — Hangnail may refer to: * hangnails, strips of loose skin near fingernails or toenails * Hangnail, a heavy metal band * Hangnail, a Christian punk/CCM band ** Hangnail , an album by the band * Hangnail , a song by Nickelback from their album… …   Wikipedia

  • hangnail — noun Etymology: by folk etymology from agnail inflammation about the nail, from Middle English, corn on the foot or toe, from Old English angnægl, from ang (akin to enge tight, painful) + nægl nail more at anger Date: 1678 a bit of skin hanging… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hangnail — /hang nayl /, n. a small piece of partly detached skin at the side or base of the fingernail. Cf. whitlow. [1300 50; ME angenayle corn, OE angnaegl, equiv. to ang (var. of enge narrow, painful; c. G eng, see ANGER) + naegl callus, NAIL; modern h… …   Universalium

  • hangnail — noun a) A loose, narrow strip of nail tissue protruding from the side edge and anchored near the base of a fingernail or toenail. b) A pointed upper corner of the toenail (often created by improperly trimming by rounding the corner) that, as the… …   Wiktionary

  • hangnail — A loose triangular tag of skin attached proximally in the medial or lateral nail fold. * * * hang·nail haŋ .nāl n a bit of skin hanging loose at the side or root of a fingernail * * * hang·nail (hangґnāl) a shred of eponychium on a proximal… …   Medical dictionary

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