the nonliving epidermis that surrounds the edges of the fingernail or toenail.
the epidermis.
a superficial integument, membrane, or the like.
Also called cuticula. Zoology. the outer, noncellular layer of the arthropod integument, composed of a mixture of chitin and protein and commonly containing other hardening substances as well.
Botany. a very thin hyaline film covering the surface of plants, derived from the outer surfaces of the epidermal cells.

1605–15; < Latin cutīcula the skin, equivalent to cuti(s) skin, cutis + -cula -cle1

cuticular [kyoo-tik-yuh-ler] , adjective
subcuticular, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cuticle (ˈkjuːtɪkəl)
1.  dead skin, esp that round the base of a fingernail or toenail
2.  another name for epidermis
3.  any covering layer or membrane
4.  the protective layer, containing cutin, that covers the epidermis of higher plants
5.  the hard protective layer covering the epidermis of many invertebrates
[C17: from Latin cutīcula diminutive of cutis skin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1615, from L. cuticula, dim. of cutis "skin," from PIE *ku-ti-, from base *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal" (cf. Lith. kiautas "husk," O.E. hyd "skin, hide;" see hide (n.1)). Specialized sense of "skin at the base of the nail" is from 1907.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

cuticle cu·ti·cle (kyōō'tĭ-kəl)

  1. The strip of hardened skin at the base and sides of a fingernail or toenail.

  2. The outermost layer of the skin; epidermis.

  3. Dead or cornified epidermis.

subcuticular sub·cu·tic·u·lar (sŭb'kyōō-tĭk'yə-lər)
Located or occurring beneath the cuticle or epidermis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
cuticle   (ky'tĭ-kəl)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The noncellular, hardened or membranous protective covering of many invertebrates, such as the transparent membrane that covers annelids.

  2. A layer of wax and cutin that covers the outermost surfaces of a plant. The cuticle is secreted by the epidermis and helps prevent water loss and infection by parasites.

  3. The hard skin around the sides and base of a fingernail or toenail.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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