sticky fingers

plural noun Informal.

a propensity to steal.

Nearby words

  1. stickwork,
  2. sticky,
  3. sticky blood,
  4. sticky bun,
  5. sticky end,
  6. sticky note,
  7. sticky rice,
  8. sticky wicket,
  9. sticky willie,
  10. sticky-fingered

Origin of sticky fingers

First recorded in 1930–35

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

Idioms and Phrases with sticky fingers

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.