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[loo-nyuh-luh] /ˈlu nyə lə/
noun, plural lunulae
[loo-nyuh-lee] /ˈlu nyəˌli/ (Show IPA)
something shaped like a narrow crescent, as the small, pale area at the base of the fingernail.
Also, lunule
[loo-nyool] /ˈlu nyul/ (Show IPA)
Origin of lunula
1565-75; < Latin lūnula, equivalent to lūn(a) moon + -ula -ule
Related forms
pseudolunula, noun, plural pseudolunulae.
pseudolunule, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lunule
Historical Examples
  • lunule: An impressed area just below the beaks of bivalve shells.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide Augusta Foote Arnold
  • The lunule is large and ribbed; the teeth are small; the color is pure white, with a light straw-tinted epidermis.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide Augusta Foote Arnold
  • Legs deep rufous; antenn black; the club beneath and lunule round the eye straw-coloured.

  • There is no lunule, but a large external ligament is very prominent just back of the beaks.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide Augusta Foote Arnold
  • The lateral teeth are the stronger, and the lunule is upon the right valve only.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide Augusta Foote Arnold
British Dictionary definitions for lunule


noun (pl) -nulae (-njʊˌliː), -nules
the white crescent-shaped area at the base of the human fingernail Nontechnical name half-moon
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: small moon, from lūna
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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lunule in Medicine

lunula lu·nu·la (lōōn'yə-lə)
n. pl. lu·nu·lae (-lē')
A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the proximal region at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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