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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.