finger

1 of 2

noun

fin·​ger ˈfiŋ-gər How to pronounce finger (audio)
1
: any of the five terminating members of the hand : a digit of the forelimb
especially : one other than the thumb
2
a
: 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
fingerlike adjective

finger

2 of 2

verb

fingered; fingering ˈfiŋ-g(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce finger (audio)

transitive verb

1
: to touch or feel with the fingers
2
a
: 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
2
a
: 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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Our kids learned by putting fingers on a computer keyboard. Ellen Murphy, Kansas City Star, 21 Feb. 2024 Cold hands, trembling fingers, incorrect probe placement, even nail polish can throw a reading off by a few percentage points too. Corinne Purtill, Los Angeles Times, 20 Feb. 2024 Some of us prayed beneath the cherry trees or in the warm light coming off the living room or on the edges of the concrete, our faces, our fingers, almost touching the mud. Jamil Jan Kochai, The New Yorker, 19 Feb. 2024 Ayoola then tried putting his fingers between his neck and the seatbelt. Landon Mion, Fox News, 18 Feb. 2024 Use only the right hand and only three fingers, middle, index and thumb — only the top two joints of each — with the thumb pushing the food into the mouth. Ligaya Mishan Kyoko Hamada, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2024 Many people are unfortunately between sizes or have issues with finger swelling. Victoria Song, The Verge, 14 Feb. 2024 February’s Super Bowl appearance will be the team’s fourth since Mahomes became starter, with two rings already fitting comfortably on the squad’s fingers. Ben Morse, CNN, 8 Feb. 2024 Holding your finger on the screen will cause the focus and exposure to lock on a specific area. David Nield, Popular Science, 7 Feb. 2024
Verb
Among the suspects who fingered Sanon as the head of the plot: former Haitian government official Joseph Félix Badio, who was arrested in October and is in custody in Haiti, and James Solages, a Haitian American who was extradited from Haiti and is awaiting trial in the Miami case. Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, 9 Feb. 2024 Trump Has Promised to Do in a Second Term The Warriors’ Journey Back to Coney Island Falsely fingered for the murder of Cyrus, the night turns against the Warriors. Paul Fitzgerald, Rolling Stone, 6 Feb. 2024 Even the hair had been spritzed and gelled and fingered through to evoke a just-showered look. Daniel Rodgers, Vogue, 26 Jan. 2024 All three men were arrested shortly after the killing, but police failed to book Gilbert on a murder warrant, according to Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods, whose office is representing Mitchell and has fingered Gilbert at the triggerman. Harry Harris, The Mercury News, 18 Jan. 2024 When there’s a match, the investigators will finger the phone number or email address of the sending party. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 12 Jan. 2024 Surveillance footage leads to arrest Authorities fingered Michael Jackson-Bolanos as a suspect in Woll’s killing after reviewing surveillance footage from an elementary school near her home and reviewing cellphone records, a Michigan State Police trooper who worked the case testified Tuesday. Andrea May Sahouri, Detroit Free Press, 16 Jan. 2024 The little boy, with a badly bruised face and a jagged slash running across his forehead, fingered a toy car with his bandaged hand. Clare Malone, The New Yorker, 13 Jan. 2024 The goals are to find innovative ways to help finger likely attackers based on their coding styles and to automate parts of the attribution process. Sarah Scoles, Popular Science, 2 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'finger.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near finger

Cite this Entry

“Finger.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/finger. Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

finger

1 of 2 noun
fin·​ger ˈfiŋ-gər How to pronounce finger (audio)
1
: one of the five divisions of the end of the hand
especially : one other than the thumb
2
a
: something that resembles or does the work of a finger
b
: a part of a glove into which a finger is inserted
3
: the width of a finger
fingered
-gərd
adjective
fingerlike adjective

finger

2 of 2 verb
fingered; fingering -g(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce finger (audio)
1
: to touch with the fingers : handle
2
: to perform with the fingers or with a certain fingering

Medical Definition

finger

noun
fin·​ger ˈfiŋ-gər How to pronounce finger (audio)
: any of the five terminating members of the hand : a digit of the forelimb
especially : one other than the thumb

Legal Definition

finger

transitive verb
fin·​ger
fingered; fingering
: to accuse or identify as guilty
was fingered simply because he fit the stereotype of a young, black street criminalJack Ewing

More from Merriam-Webster on finger

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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