• synonyms


See more synonyms for fist on Thesaurus.com
  1. the hand closed tightly, with the fingers doubled into the palm.
  2. Informal. the hand.
  3. Informal. a person's handwriting.
  4. Printing. index(def 8).
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to make (one's hand) into a fist.
  2. to grasp in the fist.
Show More

Origin of fist1

before 900; Middle English; Old English fȳst; cognate with German Faust fist; perhaps akin to five


  1. feist.
Show More


or fice fist

  1. Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. a small mongrel dog, especially one that is ill-tempered; cur; mutt.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. South Midland U.S. to prance or strut about: Look at him feist around in his new clothes.
Show More

Origin of feist

1760–70; compare (from 16th cent.) fisting hound, fisting cur, as contemptuous epithets for any kind of dog (present participle of fist to break wind, late Middle English; compare Old English fisting breaking wind, Middle Low German vīst, German Fist fart); (def 2) perhaps back formation from feisty
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for fist

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • No stones or other missiles were used; the battle was fist to fist.

  • Had his fist in my face before I could get my finger on the trigger.

  • He felt his own fist tingle as he returned the effort with interest.

  • There was a thud as his fist hit the rickety, squeaking table in the center of the room.

  • Garson brought his fist down on the table with a force that made the glasses jingle.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

British Dictionary definitions for fist


  1. a hand with the fingers clenched into the palm, as for hitting
  2. Also called: fistful the quantity that can be held in a fist or hand
  3. an informal word for hand, index (def. 9)
Show More
  1. (tr) to hit with the fist
Show More

Word Origin

Old English fӯst; related to Old Frisian fest, Old Saxon, Old High German fūst; see five
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 fist


Old English fyst, from West Germanic *fustiz (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German fust, Old Frisian fest, Middle Dutch vuust, Dutch vuist, German Faust), from Proto-Germanic *fukhstiz, probably ultimately from PIE *penkwe- "five" (cf. Old Church Slavonic pesti, Russian piasti "fist").

Show More



also fist, "a breaking wind, foul smell, fart," mid-15c. (Old English had present participle fisting), a general West Germanic word; cf. Middle Dutch veest, Dutch vijst (see feisty).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with fist


see hand over fist.

Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.