• WordNet 3.6
    • n hangnail a loose narrow strip of skin near the base of a fingernail; tearing it produces a painful sore that is easily infected
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Hangnail A small piece or sliver of skin which hangs loose, near the root of a finger nail.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n hangnail A small separate piece of hard, partly detached epidermis at the root or side of a nail. Hangnails often persistently renew themselves after they are cut.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
A corruption of agnail,


In literature:

His nails, torn and broken and afflicted with hangnails, were never cleaned.
"Smoke Bellew" by Jack London
Pulled a hangnail out of it.
"Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States" by Work Projects Administration
He said in an audible tone that the New Yorker was a human hangnail, no matter where he was born.
"Somewhere in Red Gap" by Harry Leon Wilson
Thou hast hangnails on every finger, and Njal is beardless.
"The story of Burnt Njal" by Anonymous
But it did matter to me that I had to dine on this hangnail pared from a sheep.
"Eating in Two or Three Languages" by Irvin S. Cobb
If there are hangnails snip them away carefully.
"The Woman Beautiful" by Helen Follett Stevans
Had a terrible time yesterday with an infected hangnail.
"The Blue Ghost Mystery" by Harold Leland Goodwin
They rush to us with things like hangnails, pimples, simple dandruff.
"Accidental Flight" by Floyd L. Wallace
Henry was the human hangnail.
"Stepsons of Light" by Eugene Manlove Rhodes
Anybody with half an eye can see I'm in bed with whooping cough, scarlet fever and hangnails.
"The Black Fawn" by James Arthur Kjelgaard

In poetry:

I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch,
And more than a hangnail irks.
"To My Valentine" by Ogden Nash

In news:

Attempts to stave off cravings at home by polishing off a bottle of OPI left you with a raging hangnail and the ragged edge of need (not to mention your cuticles).
The ambulances come screaming down city streets, rushing on calls to burst boils, clip hangnails and check on smelly body parts.
While most of us worry about hangnails or roaming charges, her mind is gripped by images of blindness, despair, suicide and other symptoms of love.