finger

noun
fin·​ger | \ ˈfiŋ-gər How to pronounce finger (audio) \

Definition of finger

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of the five terminating members of the hand : a digit of the forelimb especially : one other than the thumb
2a : something that resembles a finger a narrow finger of land
b : a part of a glove into which a finger is inserted
c : a projecting piece (such as a pawl for a ratchet) brought into contact with an object to affect its motion
3 : the breadth of a finger
4 : interest, share often used in the phrase have a finger in the pie
5 : bird sense 10 usually used with the

finger

verb
fingered; fingering\ ˈfiŋ-​g(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce fingering (audio) \

Definition of finger (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to touch or feel with the fingers
2a : to play (a musical instrument) with the fingers
b : to play (notes, chords, etc.) with a specific fingering
c : to mark the notes of (a music score) as a guide in playing
3 : to point out : identify
4 : to extend into or penetrate in the shape of a finger

intransitive verb

1 : to touch or handle something
2a : to use the fingers in playing a musical instrument
b : to have a certain fingering used of a musical instrument
3 : to extend in the shape or manner of a finger

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Other Words from finger

Noun

fingerlike \ ˈfiŋ-​gər-​ˌlīk How to pronounce fingerlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of finger in a Sentence

Noun

Don't stick your fingers in the cookie batter! He slipped the ring onto her finger. The baby held onto my thumb with her tiny fingers. She ran her fingers through his hair. He drummed his fingers on the table impatiently. a finger of land extending into the sea She was so mad, she gave him the finger. Some angry driver flipped me the finger on the highway this morning.

Verb

He was fingered as a suspect. thus far authorities haven't been able to finger the person who's been lighting fires around town
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That data is used to determine the length, width, thickness, and curvature of your fingers and hand. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Why Amazon Wants to Scan Your Hands," 4 Sep. 2019 Larry Williams of Queens was at the Open on Labor Day with his uncle, who bought two orders of chicken fingers and fries, and a big water. Wayne Coffey, USA TODAY, "US Open: Fans with deep pockets springing for Honey Deuce, other high-priced concessions," 3 Sep. 2019 The women’s performance seemed to track with a controversial metric called the 2D:4D ratio, the relative lengths of the second and fourth fingers. Emily Underwood, Science | AAAS, "Study challenges idea that autism is caused by an overly masculine brain," 3 Sep. 2019 The exhibit displays several original photographs of him, including a large one in the center of the gallery showing him with a butterfly at the tip of his fingers. Daniel Ross Goodman, National Review, "Walt Whitman, an American," 31 Aug. 2019 On CovCath’s second drive, Mayer had two opportunities for long receptions deep in Ryle territory slip out of his fingers, and the CovCath drive stalled. James Weber, Cincinnati.com, "Northern Kentucky high school football: Defense lifts Covington Catholic to shut out Ryle," 24 Aug. 2019 During an appearance on NBC's Today, Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway revealed his 15-year battle with a hand condition that affects the ability of bent fingers to straighten. Jenna West, SI.com, "John Elway Reveals 15-Year Battle With Dupuytren's Contracture," 22 Aug. 2019 Police saw bruises, swelling, and redness around the woman’s ears and bruises on the left side of her neck that appeared to be from the pressure of three fingers, according to the statement. Mary Grace Keller, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Hampstead man charged with assault for allegedly choking woman," 19 Aug. 2019 My biggest thing was shortening my stride and moving one of my fingers [on the ball] up a little bit. Christy Cabrera Chirinos, sun-sentinel.com, "Hurricanes QBs sticking together despite fierce battle for starting job," 29 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One model fingered ischemia—a poor blood supply to the heart—which doctors know is often codiagnosed with heart failure. Matthew Hutson, Science | AAAS, "No coding required: Companies make it easier than ever for scientists to use artificial intelligence," 31 July 2019 Cows or wetlands have been fingered as possible sources, but new research points to methane emissions from fossil fuel production—mainly from shale gas operations in the United States and Canada—as the culprit. Stephen Leahy, National Geographic, "Fracking boom tied to methane spike in Earth’s atmosphere," 15 Aug. 2019 Now, the largest ever genetic analysis of this group may have fingered the gene responsible—and settled a mystery that has vexed scientists for decades. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "‘Stature gene’ may reveal why these hunter-gatherers are among the world’s smallest humans," 13 Aug. 2019 There was a certain amount of middle-fingering from the Trump contingent and tut-tutting from our side. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "Protesting Immigration Policy, and Why I Decided to Get Arrested," 9 Aug. 2019 Beyond fingering a specific virus behind AFM cases, there are still plenty of other questions to answer. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Mysterious illness that paralyzes healthy kids prompts plea from CDC," 10 July 2019 One partner kneels, leaning back against the other, who is fingering them and/or stimulating their clit from behind. Sophie Saint Thomas, refinery29.com, "The Most Satisfying Sex Positions for Lesbians," 20 June 2019 We can be taught the pitch of F’s and B-flats, how to finger an A on a clarinet or oboe, the third position on a trombone, how to trill a flute or draw a bow, when to enunciate a word so that the listener hears it and when not to enunciate. Chuck Yarborough, cleveland.com, "Jason Mraz and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra discover ‘Life is Wonderful’ in collaborative concerts," 16 June 2019 People are thumbing and fingering themselves through life and gleefully paying for it. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Tech businesses have triumphed in controlling the masses," 4 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'finger.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of finger

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1521, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

History and Etymology for finger

Noun

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German fingar finger

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Statistics for finger

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for finger

The first known use of finger was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for finger

finger

noun

English Language Learners Definition of finger

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one of the five long parts of the hand that are used for holding things especially : one of the four that are not the thumb
: something that is long and thin and looks like a finger
: the part of a glove into which a finger is placed

finger

verb

English Language Learners Definition of finger (Entry 2 of 2)

: to touch (something) with your fingers
chiefly US, informal : to identify (someone) as the person who has committed a crime

finger

noun
fin·​ger | \ ˈfiŋ-gər How to pronounce finger (audio) \

Kids Definition of finger

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one of the five divisions of the end of the hand including the thumb
2 : something that resembles a finger a finger of land
3 : the part of a glove into which a finger goes

finger

verb
fingered; fingering

Kids Definition of finger (Entry 2 of 2)

: to touch with the fingers : handle

finger

noun
fin·​ger | \ ˈfiŋ-gər How to pronounce finger (audio) \

Medical Definition of finger

: any of the five terminating members of the hand : a digit of the forelimb especially : one other than the thumb

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fin·​ger
fingered; fingering

Legal Definition of finger

: to accuse or identify as guilty was fingered simply because he fit the stereotype of a young, black street criminal— Jack Ewing

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Comments on finger

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