[ thuhm ]
/ θʌm /


verb (used with object)

Nearby words

  1. thugs,
  2. thuja,
  3. thule,
  4. thulia,
  5. thulium,
  6. thumb a ride,
  7. thumb drive,
  8. thumb forceps,
  9. thumb glass,
  10. thumb index


Origin of thumb

before 900; Middle English; Old English thūma; cognate with Dutch duim, Old Saxon, Old High German dūmo (German Daumen), Old Norse thumall; akin to Latin tumēre to swell (tumor)

Related formsthumb·less, adjectivethumb·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for thumbs

British Dictionary definitions for thumbs


/ (θʌm) /



Derived Formsthumbless, adjectivethumblike, adjective

Word Origin for thumb

Old English thūma; related to Old Saxon thūma, Old High German thūmo, Old Norse thumall thumb of a glove, Latin tumēre to swell

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

Word Origin and History for thumbs
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for thumbs


[ thŭm ]


The short thick digit of the human hand, next to the index finger and opposable to each of the other four digits.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with thumbs


In addition to the idioms beginning with thumb

  • thumb a ride
  • thumb one's nose
  • thumbs up

also see:

  • 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.