thumbs-down

[thuhmz-doun]

noun Informal.

an act or instance of dissent, disapproval, etc.

Nearby words

  1. thumbnut,
  2. thumbpiece,
  3. thumbprint,
  4. thumbs down,
  5. thumbs up,
  6. thumbs-up,
  7. thumbscrew,
  8. thumbstall,
  9. thumbtack,
  10. thummim

Origin of thumbs-down

First recorded in 1885–90

thumb

[thuhm]

noun

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.

verb (used with object)

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.

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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for thumbs down

thumb

noun

the first and usually shortest and thickest of the digits of the hand, composed of two short bonesTechnical 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 negationhe 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

verb

(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
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 down
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for thumbs down

thumb

[thŭm]

n.

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 down

thumb

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.