sticky fingers

plural noun Informal.

a propensity to steal.

Origin of sticky fingers

First recorded in 1930–35

OTHER WORDS FROM sticky fingers

stick·y-fin·gered [stik-ee-fing-gerd] /ˈstɪk iˈfɪŋ gərd/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sticky-fingered

  • “All this is on Sammy,” Perry said, pointing at the huge barbecue smoker, the crowds of sticky-fingered gorgers.

    Makers|Cory Doctorow
  • Women with slim-shanked, whining, sticky-fingered children dragging after them.

    A Book of Burlesques|H. L. Mencken

British Dictionary definitions for sticky-fingered



informal given to thieving
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

Idioms and Phrases with sticky-fingered

sticky fingers

A propensity to steal, as in You'd better not leave any cash around; she's known for her sticky fingers. This metaphor makes it seem as if valuables adhere naturally to a thief's fingers. [Colloquial; late 1800s]

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