finger

[fing-ger]
|

noun

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to touch or handle something with the fingers.
to extend in or as in the shape of a finger: Landing piers finger out into the river along the city's shoreline.

Idioms

    burn one's fingers, to suffer injury or loss by meddling or by acting rashly: If you get involved in the controversy, you may burn your fingers.
    give (someone) the finger, Slang. to express contempt for by or as by the obscene gesture of pointing the middle finger upward while folding the other fingers against the palm.
    have a finger in the pie,
    1. to have an interest or share in something.
    2. to meddle in something.
    keep one's fingers crossed, to wish for good luck or success, as in a specific endeavor: Keep your fingers crossed that I get the job.
    lay/put one's finger on,
    1. to indicate exactly; remember: I know the name, but I can't put my finger on it.
    2. to discover; locate: I haven't been able to lay my finger on the book you requested.
    not lift a finger, to make not even a small attempt; do nothing: The house was falling into ruin, but he wouldn't lift a finger to repair it.
    put the finger on, Slang. finger(def 12).
    slip through one's fingers,
    1. to elude one, as an opportunity not taken; escape: She let the chance of a lifetime slip through her fingers.
    2. to pass or be consumed quickly: Money just slips through his fingers.
    snap one's fingers (at), to exhibit disdain or contempt (for): She snaps her fingers at the local gossip.
    twist/wrap around one's little finger, to exert one's influence easily or successfully upon: He has a remarkable talent for twisting people around his little finger.

Origin of finger

before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with German Finger, Dutch vinger, Old Norse fingr, Gothic figgrs
Related formsfin·ger·er, nounfin·ger·less, adjectivere·fin·ger, verb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for burn one's fingers

finger

noun

  1. any of the digits of the hand, often excluding the thumbTechnical name: digitus manus
  2. (as modifier)a finger bowl
  3. (in combination)a fingernail Related adjective: digital
the part of a glove made to cover a finger
something that resembles a finger in shape or functiona finger of land
Also called: digit the length or width of a finger used as a unit of measurement
a quantity of liquid in a glass, etc, as deep as a finger is wide; tot
a projecting machine part, esp one serving as an indicator, guide, or guard
burn one's fingers to suffer from having meddled or been rash
get one's finger out or pull one's finger out British informal to begin or speed up activity, esp after initial delay or slackness
have a finger in the pie or have one's finger in the pie
  1. to have an interest in or take part in some activity
  2. to meddle or interfere
lay a finger on (usually negative) to harm
lay one's finger on or put one's finger on to indicate, identify, or locate accurately
let slip through one's fingers to allow to escape; miss narrowly
not lift a finger or not raise a finger (foll by an infinitive) not to make any effort (to do something)
point the finger at to accuse or blame
put the finger on informal
  1. to inform on or identify, esp for the police
  2. to choose (the victim or location of an intended crime)
twist around one's little finger or wrap around one's little finger to have easy and complete control or influence over

verb

(tr) to touch or manipulate with the fingers; handle
(tr) informal, mainly US to identify as a criminal or suspect
(intr) to extend like a finger
to use one's fingers in playing (an instrument, such as a piano or clarinet)
to indicate on (a composition or part) the fingering required by a pianist, harpsichordist, etc
(tr; usually passive) to arrange the keys of (a clarinet, flute, etc) for playing in a certain way
Derived Formsfingerer, nounfingerless, adjective

Word Origin for finger

Old English; related to Old Norse fingr, Gothic figgrs, Old High German fingar; see five, fist
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

Word Origin and History for burn one's fingers

finger

v.

early 15c., "to touch or point to with the finger" (but cf. fingering from late 14c.), from finger (n.). Sense of "play upon a musical instrument" is from 1510s. The meaning "identify a criminal" is underworld slang first recorded 1930. Related: Fingered; fingering.

finger

n.

Old English fingor, from Proto-Germanic *fingraz (cf. Old Saxon fingar, Old Frisian finger, Old Norse fingr, Dutch vinger, German Finger, Gothic figgrs), with no cognates outside Germanic; perhaps connected with PIE *penkwe-, the root meaning "five."

As a unit of measure (Middle English) it represents the breadth of a finger, about three-quarters of an inch. They generally are numbered from the thumb, and named index finger, fool's finger, leech- or physic-finger, and ear-finger.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

burn one's fingers in Medicine

finger

[fĭnggər]

n.

One of the five digits of the hand, especially one other than the thumb.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with burn one's fingers

burn one's fingers

Harm oneself, as in I'm staying away from risky stocks; I've burned my fingers often enough. Some believe this expression came from a legend about a monkey who gets a cat to pull its chestnuts out of the fire (see cat's paw); others hold it is from an English proverb: “Burn not thy fingers to snuff another's candle” (James Howell, English Proverbs, 1659). [c. 1700]

finger

In addition to the idiom beginning with finger

  • finger in the pie, have a

also see:

  • at one's fingertips
  • burn one's fingers
  • cross one's fingers
  • give someone the finger
  • lay a finger on
  • let slip (through the fingers)
  • not lift a finger
  • point the finger at
  • put one's finger on
  • put the finger on
  • snap one's fingers at
  • sticky fingers
  • twist around one's finger
  • work one's fingers to the bone
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.