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n. pl. lu·nu·lae (-lē′)
A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.

[New Latin lūnula, from Latin, crescent-shaped ornament, diminutive of lūna, moon; see leuk- in Indo-European roots.]


(ˈluːnjʊlə) or


n, pl -nulae (-njʊˌliː) or -nules
(Anatomy) the white crescent-shaped area at the base of the human fingernail. Nontechnical name: half-moon
[C16: from Latin: small moon, from lūna]


(ˈlu nyə lə)

also lu•nule


n., pl. -nu•lae (-nyəˌli) also -nules.
something shaped like a narrow crescent.
[1565–75; < Latin lūnula, derivative of lūn(a) moon]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.lunula - the crescent-shaped area at the base of the human fingernaillunula - the crescent-shaped area at the base of the human fingernail
region, area - a part of an animal that has a special function or is supplied by a given artery or nerve; "in the abdominal region"
nail - horny plate covering and protecting part of the dorsal surface of the digits
2.lunula - a crescent-shaped metal ornament of the Bronze Age
decoration, ornament, ornamentation - something used to beautify


n pl <-e> → Lunula f (spec), → Nagelmöndchen nt
References in periodicals archive ?
Red nails or red lunulae are rare, with the purplish-red colour caused by hyperaemia of the nail bed.
The repetitive insistence of grammarians and lexicographers that parenthetical clauses are subordinate makes the idea of emphatic lunulae strange to the modern reader; but lunulae only distinguish.
The lunulae on the external side of the hinge area are dark brown, presented with fine radiating ridges in Ruditapes philippinarum, whereas the same area in Ruditapes decussatus is colorless (Fig.
Nail-patella syndrome is defined by the following major Features [15]: Nail anomalies- in 80-90% of patients they are bilateral and symmetrical; nails can be absent, hypoplastic, or dystrophic (discolouration, triangular lunulae, splitting, ridging, and thinning).
In the same way, the gold ornaments known as lunulae are found in both Brittany and Cornwall, although they are more common in Ireland where they may have been made (Taylor 1970).
4) Nail dysplasia is an essential feature of this syndrome manifested by the presence of triangular lunulae that can be accompanied by anonychia, hemianonychia, nail hypoplasia, or longitudinal ridging.