any of the terminal members of the hand, especially one other than the thumb.
a part of a glove made to receive a finger.
Zoology. a projection at the tip of an elephant’s trunk that facilitates dexterity essential for grasping: If there are two fingers, it must be an African elephant, as the Asian elephant has only one.
the breadth of a finger as a unit of measurement; digit.
the length of a finger: approximately 4½ inches (11 centimeters).
Slang. an informer or spy.
something like a finger in form or use, as a projection or pointer: a finger of land leading out into the bay;the finger on the speedometer.
any of various projecting parts of machines.
to touch with the fingers; toy or meddle with; handle: I couldn't refrain from fingering the beautiful silk scarves.
to touch with the fingers so as to mar or spoil: Please don't finger the vegetables.
to play on (an instrument) with the fingers.
to perform or mark (a passage of music) with a certain fingering.
to inform against or identify (a criminal) to the authorities: He fingered the man who robbed the bank.
to designate as a victim, as of murder or other crime.
Slang: Vulgar. to stimulate (the vagina or anus) for sexual gratification by penetration with one or more fingers.
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 about finger
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 (someone) by or as if by making the obscene gesture of pointing the middle finger upward while folding the other fingers against the palm and turning the back of the hand outward: Someone gave me the finger for driving too slow.: Also flip (someone) the bird .
have a finger in the pie,
to have an interest or share in something.
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,
to indicate exactly; remember: I know the name, but I can't put my finger on it.
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. 13).
slip through one's fingers,
to elude one, as an opportunity not taken; escape: She let the chance of a lifetime slip through her fingers.
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.
- fin·ger·er, noun
- fin·ger·less, adjective
- re·fin·ger, verb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use finger in a sentence
With one finger, double-tap and hold on the screen, then move your finger up or down to zoom in or out.Get around your phone more quickly than you already are | David Nield | September 16, 2020 | Popular-Science
The Surface Duo is compatible with Microsoft’s line of Surface styluses, useful for writing notes, highlighting and editing text, and generally using in place of your fingers to scroll around.Review of the Microsoft Surface Duo folding phone: Very pretty but just how useful is it? | Aaron Pressman | September 10, 2020 | Fortune
Plus, it might be the first time the customer can put their finger on how much their branding drives their income, a question they have probably struggled with for a long time.SEO proposals: Particular challenges and how to avoid getting a silent no | SEOmonitor | September 10, 2020 | Search Engine Watch
He slipped through the cracks, slipped through our fingers, many, many times.“People want to believe”: How Love Fraud builds an absorbing docuseries around a romantic con man | Alissa Wilkinson | September 4, 2020 | Vox
This cutter is designed with an ergonomic handle to keep you in control and your fingers out of the way.Pizza cutters that will get you the slice of your dreams | PopSci Commerce Team | September 2, 2020 | Popular-Science
A whole population of 11 million with every iron in the fire doubling as a finger in a dike.The Life and Hard Times Of The Family A Cuban Defector Left Behind | Brin-Jonathan Butler | December 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
For those who have a problem with that, she offered a charming, subtle middle finger.Jeopardy! Champion Julia Collins’s Brain Feels Like Mush | Sujay Kumar | November 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
I like to end columns with a potential policy fix, some kind of suggested action, or at least a stern finger-wagging.
He stuck his index finger in the red welt around the spot where bin Laden shot me.
Orwell put his finger on the core problem years before he wrote 1984.Digital Doublethink: Playing Truth or Dare with Putin, Assad and ISIS | Christopher Dickey, Anna Nemtsova | November 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
And the finger he pointed at the girl quivered with the rage that filled him at this trick they had thought to put upon him.St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
"You have give a limb," repeated Perry, emphasizing the announcement by shaking his finger at the old man.The Soldier of the Valley | Nelson Lloyd
I played up one octave, and then I wished to go on by placing my first finger on F sharp.Music-Study in Germany | Amy Fay
The blood is obtained from the finger-tip or the lobe of the ear, as for a blood count; only a very small drop is required.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
He towered grimly above her, shaking a threatening finger in her very face.St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for finger
any of the digits of the hand, often excluding the thumb: Technical name: digitus manus
(as modifier): a finger bowl
(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 function: a 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
to have an interest in or take part in some activity
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
to inform on or identify, esp for the police
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
(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
- fingerer, noun
- fingerless, adjective
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with finger
In addition to the idiom beginning with finger
- finger in the pie, have a
- 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.