Etymology
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thumbnail (n.)

c. 1600, from thumb (n.) + nail (n.). Meaning "drawing or sketch of a small size" (though usually not literally the size of a thumbnail) is from 1852.

updated on January 23, 2014

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Definitions of thumbnail from WordNet

thumbnail (n.)
the nail of the thumb;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.