fingernail


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bite (one's) nails

1. Literally, to chew on one's fingernails and shorten them. I wish I didn't bite my nails, but it's been such a hard habit to try to break. My sister gets regular manicures to keep from biting her nails.
2. To nervously await something. I've been biting my nails ever since I submitted my application for my first-choice college.
See also: bite, nail

cling on by (one's) fingernails

1. Literally, to grasp something, such as a cliff, with one's fingernails to avoid falling. The stranded hiker was clinging on by her fingernails until the rescue crew arrived.
2. By extension, to narrowly avoid problems or failure. They're clinging on by their fingernails out there—the other team's offensive is totally overwhelming them. Now that I have three small children to care for, I feel as if I'm clinging on by my fingernails every day.
See also: by, cling, fingernail, on

hang on by (one's) fingernails

1. Literally, to grasp something, such as a cliff, with one's fingernails to avoid falling. The stranded hiker was hanging on by her fingernails until the rescue crew arrived.
2. By extension, to narrowly avoid problems or failure. They're hanging on by their fingernails out there—the other team's offensive is totally overwhelming them. Now that I have three small children to care for, I feel as if I'm hanging on by my fingernails every day.
See also: by, fingernail, hang, on

be hanging on by your fingertips

or

be hanging on by your fingernails

If you are hanging on by your fingertips or hanging on by your fingernails, you are only just managing to survive or to stay in the position you want. There are firms already hanging on by their fingertips who will not be able to take these extra costs. Real Madrid's poor start to the season has left coach Benito Floro hanging on to his job by his fingernails. Note: The verb cling is sometimes used instead of hang. The minister is said to be clinging on by his fingernails since the scandal. Note: You can also say that someone has a fingertip hold on something. A Bolton own goal early in the second half gave Liverpool the fingertip hold they needed to retain their grasp of the FA Cup.
See also: by, fingertip, hanging, on

bite your ˈnails/ˈfingernails

feel very excited, nervous, or afraid ▶ ˈnail-biting adj. very exciting or tense: What an exciting movie that was — real nail-biting stuff!
See also: bite, fingernail, nail
References in periodicals archive ?
Of the 200 cases with clinical onychomycosis, fingernails were affected in 120 (60%), toenails in 72 (36%), and both fingernails and toenails in 8 (4%) cases.
We saw more number of fingernail induced corneal abrasions in inferotemporal quadrant of cornea.
8220;It is very sharp and cuts right through my fingernails with no effort.
Figure 7 shows the effect of mar from a fingernail where it appears that the surface is not being gouged but instead, there appears to be an increase in height of the surface profile caused by either a deposition of material on the surface of the coating or, hypothetically, cavitation due to tensile stress.
So it's no surprise to me that of the two sexes, it's the female one that has found some practical use for fingernails and toenails.
But two of them fell off leaving glue residue on my nail which I couldn't get off and had to buff my fingernails to get it all off.
Clippers, cutters: Cigar cutters, corkscrews, fingernail and toenail clippers, diabetes-related items, eyeglass repair tools, eyelash curlers.
His response this time was to reduce the fingernail element of his Baltic exhibition.
Artificial nails need constant care to prevent contamination to the enhancer as well as the natural fingernail.
As the clipping went on and on--dirty fingernail remnants ricocheting off nearby conference attendees--it became increasingly difficult to concentrate on the panel discussion.
With a painted-white fingernail, Donyale checks for unseen flecks of stray mascara; she sinks below the frame's horizon but then bobs to the surface, rescued, her eyeliner queenly as before.
Each chip included 330 million transistors in an area measuring only 109 square millimeters--about the size of a fingernail.
It takes about six months for your fingernail to grow from the base of your finger to the top.
B) Unless wearing intact gloves in good repair, a food employee may not wear fingernail polish or artificial fingernails when working with exposed food.