thumb one's nose


Express scorn or ridicule. For example, I'm sure the members of the school committee thumb their noses at any suggestion we make. This expression alludes to the traditional gesture of contempt, that is, placing the thumb under the nose and wiggling the fingers. [c. 1900]

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