- a small cap, usually of metal, worn over the fingertip to protect it when pushing a needle through cloth in sewing.
- Mechanics. any of various similar devices or attachments.
- Nautical. a metal ring with a concave groove on the outside, used to line the outside of a ring of rope forming an eye.
- a sleeve of sheet metal passing through the wall of a chimney, for holding the end of a stovepipe or the like.
- a thimble-shaped printing element with raised characters on the exterior: used in a type of electronic typewriter or computer printer (thimble printer).
Origin of thimble
Examples from the Web for thimble
Sarah was married to the very silversmith who had engraven our names on the thimble!Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
Better not offend a fairy, even though no higher than a thimble!Welsh Fairy Tales
William Elliott Griffis
This is an in-door game, founded on the familiar "Hunt the Thimble."Boy Scouts Handbook
Boy Scouts of America
I saw a fellow empty a barrel with a thimble, once—on a bet.Prairie Flowers
James B. Hendryx
I have lost my thimble, and I've broken my china cup, so perhaps you have brought me one.Golden Moments
- a cap of metal, plastic, etc, used to protect the end of the finger when sewing
- any small metal cap resembling this
- nautical a loop of metal having a groove at its outer edge for a rope or cable, for lining the inside of an eye
- short for thimbleful
Word Origin and History for thimble
Old English þymel "sheath or covering for the thumb," from thuma (see thumb) + -el, suffix used in forming names of instruments (cf. handle). Excrescent -b- began mid-15c. (cf. humble, nimble). Originally of leather, metal ones came into use 17c. Thimblerig, con game played with three thimbles and a pea or button, is attested from 1825 by this name, though references to thimble cheats, probably the same swindle, date back to 1716.