the short, thick, inner digit of the human hand, next to the forefinger.
the corresponding digit in other animals; pollex.
the part of a glove or mitten for containing this digit.
Architecture. an ovolo or echinus molding.
to soil or wear with the thumbs in handling, as the pages of a book.
to glance through (the pages of a book, leaflet, etc.) quickly.
to play (a guitar or other instrument) with or as with the thumbs.
(of a hitchhiker) to solicit or get (a ride) by pointing the thumb in the desired direction of travel.
Idioms about thumb
all thumbs, awkward; clumsy; bungling: The visitor almost knocked over a vase and seemed to be all thumbs.
thumb one's nose,
to put one's thumb to one's nose and extend the fingers as a crudely defiant or contemptuous gesture.
to express defiance or contempt; dismiss or reject contemptuously.
thumbs down, a gesture or expression of dissent or disapproval: We turned thumbs down to that suggestion.
thumbs up, a gesture or expression of assent or approval.
under one's thumb, under the power or influence of; subordinate to.: Also under the thumb of.
- thumbless, adjective
- thumblike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use thumb in a sentence
It was possible to pinch your thumb and forefinger together for a button press or rub the two fingers together to spin a dial.New Google Nest Thermostat hits the FCC, possibly with air gesture controls | Ron Amadeo | September 11, 2020 | Ars Technica
Six feet is a good rule of thumb for reducing the risk of getting infected, and there are ways to make sure people stay that far apart.
Adding up all those costs, drawing on the latest research, the report comes up with with a total externalities cost of between $800 and $1,400 per tonne, with “at least $1,000” used as a reasonable rule of thumb.Big Oil’s hopes are pinned on plastics. It won’t end well. | David Roberts | September 4, 2020 | Vox
It differentiates between products and services and uses a binary thumbs up or down system like Facebook, rather than a point or star-ratings system like Google.Apple Ratings is coming to iOS 14, how disruptive will it be? | Greg Sterling | September 1, 2020 | Search Engine Land
Linking to your other blog posts from a relating one has become a rule of thumb in writing blog posts.SEO on a shoestring budget: What small business owners can do to win | Ali Faagba | June 4, 2020 | Search Engine Watch
And considering his massive music-industry thumb print, that “you oughta know” Jack Antonoff is an understatement.The Rise of Jack Antonoff, the Taylor Swift Whisperer | Kevin Fallon | November 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Pete stuck his thumb out at the age of 17 and hitch hiked out of Birmingham, England.
The Flip-a-District project is a clown-gloved thumb on the scale.
In the meantime, certain rules of thumb about drone use are self-evident.
He had only one tooth, and he ate by using his thumb as a second incisor.
Many persons impede their execution by not keeping the thumb independent enough of the rest of the hand.Music-Study in Germany | Amy Fay
Willis introduced into his organs pneumatic thumb-pistons about the year 1851.The Recent Revolution in Organ Building | George Laing Miller
He held the pin delicately between finger and thumb, and controlled her with his roguish eyes.The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol | William J. Locke
He turned pages with a moistened thumb, took a pencil out of his pocket, passed both to the passengers of the roadster.
And he jerked his thumb towards the tower where mademoiselle was a captive, and where at night "Battista" was locked in with her.St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for thumb
the first and usually shortest and thickest of the digits of the hand, composed of two short bones: Technical name: pollex Related adjective: pollical
the corresponding digit in other vertebrates
the part of a glove shaped to fit the thumb
architect another name for ovolo
all thumbs clumsy
thumbs down an indication of refusal, disapproval, or negation: he gave the thumbs down on our proposal
thumbs up an indication of encouragement, approval, or acceptance
under someone's thumb at someone's mercy or command
(tr) to touch, mark, or move with the thumb
to attempt to obtain (a lift or ride) by signalling with the thumb
(when intr, often foll by through) to flip the pages of (a book, magazine, etc) perfunctorily in order to glance at the contents
thumb one's nose at to deride or mock, esp by placing the thumb on the nose with fingers extended
- thumbless, adjective
- thumblike, adjective
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with thumb
In addition to the idioms beginning with thumb
- thumb a ride
- thumb one's nose
- thumbs up
- all thumbs
- green thumb
- rule of thumb
- stick out (like a sore thumb)
- twiddle one's thumbs
- under someone's thumb
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.