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.

Nearby words

  1. finest,
  2. finestra,
  3. finfish,
  4. finfoot,
  5. fingal's cave,
  6. finger bowl,
  7. finger buffet,
  8. finger food,
  9. finger gate,
  10. finger grass


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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fingers

British Dictionary definitions for fingers



  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


(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 fingers
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for fingers




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 fingers


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.