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 ?
I am attaching a copy of a press release that discusses studies on hazards posed by acrylic fingernails.
Sonnex et al.10 examined the fingernails of 24 patients with classical adult (type 1) pityriasis rubra pilaris for changes in nail morphology and a comparison was made with the fingernail morphology of 27 consecutive psoriatic patients with nail changes.
“It is very sharp and cuts right through my fingernails with no effort.
Imagine for instance when we looked for markers associated with fingernail growth rate, we found three widely separated markers with statistical relevance.
The ClipDifferent automatic fingernail clipper can be purchased directly at clipdifferent.com.
After soaking your finger, you should then place any ointment or oil on the fingernail. You should also replace any cotton or bandages after soaking the finger.
New York: Shridhar Chillal, an octogenarian from India with the world's longest fingernails, is all set to finally cut his coiled appendages after 66 years at a ceremony here.
By the third day, the color green was painted on the fingernail of the ring finger (Italy crushed Indonesia 19-5 but lost to the Czech Republic 21-20) to signify making the quarterfinals.'
TOE-TY Newborn had feet the size of a fingernail after being born 12 weeks early.
Fingernail involvement was more common than toenail involvement.
AbbVie announced that the Food and Drug Administration approved the addition of data on adalimumab (Humira) for the treatment of moderate to severe fingernail psoriasis to the U.S.
M2 EQUITYBITES-March 31, 2017-Abbvie's HUMIRA gains US FDA approval to treat moderate to severe fingernail psoriasis
M2 PHARMA-March 31, 2017-Abbvie's HUMIRA gains US FDA approval to treat moderate to severe fingernail psoriasis