verb (used with object)
- 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.
verb (used without object)
- fingal's cave,
- finger bowl,
- finger buffet,
- finger food,
- finger gate,
- finger grass
- to have an interest or share in something.
- to meddle in something.
- to indicate exactly; remember: I know the name, but I can't put my finger on it.
- to discover; locate: I haven't been able to lay my finger on the book you requested.
- 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.
Origin of finger
- any of the digits of the hand, often excluding the thumbTechnical name: digitus manus
- (as modifier)a finger bowl
- (in combination)a fingernail Related adjective: digital
- to have an interest in or take part in some activity
- to meddle or interfere
- to inform on or identify, esp for the police
- to choose (the victim or location of an intended crime)
Word Origin for finger
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.
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.
give the finger
Make an obscene gesture by closing one's fist and extending one's middle finger upward, generally interpreted as fuck you. For example, Herb has a dangerous habit of giving the finger to motorists who cut in front of him. Although from about 1890 to 1920 this term was used in the sense of “disappoint or snub someone,” that meaning seems to have died out. [Second half of 1900s]
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