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

For the neat-freak dad: A robot vacuum to do your chores If your father loves to keep a clean home, give him some help that won't require either of you to lift a finger. Samantha Gordon, USA TODAY, "The best Father's Day gifts that will still arrive tomorrow," 15 June 2019 Add enough cold running tap water to cover by an inch, swirl the rice using your fingers and lift out the colander as quickly as possible. Genevieve Ko, latimes.com, "Master Class: Michelin-starred n/naka chefs on how to make the perfect onigiri," 13 June 2019 Spread this over the tomatoes with a rubber spatula, cover them completely, using your fingers to help since the mixture is thick. ExpressNews.com, "Recipe: Tex-Mex Tomato Pie," 12 June 2019 Add the blackberries and toss to coat using your fingers or a wooden spoon. Jessie Sheehan, Washington Post, "Just one bowl to wash: How to simplify your baking, and cleanup," 10 June 2019 Now, get your step stool and run a finger over the top of your hood. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Please Stop with the Open Shelving," 10 June 2019 Their life, their combat experience, came and went in the snap of a finger. Tyra Mcclung, courant.com, "Wethersfield High School students honor veterans during ceremony marking 75th anniversary of D-Day," 6 June 2019 One male used his fingers to push his own lips back into place, over his teeth, before turning around to confront his challenger. Frans De Waal, Discover Magazine, "Cheerful Chimps: Are Animals Really Happy When They Smile?," 31 May 2019 To harvest basil, simply use your fingers or a pair of scissors, and cut back the top part of any stem that is becoming elongated. Colin Mccrate, The Seattle Times, "Once it warms up, it’s all about that basil," 18 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

From lining the playroom with an old shower curtain so your child can finger paint with abandon to letting him co-opt all the pillows in the house to build a killer fort, figure out ways to make your child's creative chaos tolerable for you. Tehrene Firman, Redbook, "7 Ways You Can Teach Your Kid to Spend Time Alone Without Throwing a Tablet in Their Face," 29 Sep. 2017 Though he was fingered in ’09 by The New York Times as appearing on a list of players who failed what was supposed to be an anonymous round of PED testing in ’03, Commissioner Rob Manfred cautioned in ’16 against drawing conclusions from that. SI.com, "Exiled by the Cubs, Sammy Sosa Is Enjoying the Life He Wants You to See," 27 June 2018 If anything, this beloved, prolific Japanese auteur had pulled off an upset as stealthy and light-fingered as his movie, which follows a makeshift family of supermarket thieves dwelling in cramped but loving quarters. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "The wonderful, improbable Palme d'Or triumph of Hirokazu Kore-eda's 'Shoplifters' at Cannes," 21 May 2018 An elderly Oregon man in a nursing home was nearly fingered as the Golden State Killer last year after investigators assigned to the sensational cold case tracked him down through a DNA genealogy website, it was reported Saturday. Fox News, "'Golden State Killer' DNA search led to wrong man last year," 28 Apr. 2018 Kuma fingered a loose, perforated canopy strung up by one of his students and discussed it briefly with him. Nikil Saval, New York Times, "Kengo Kuma’s Architecture of the Future," 15 Feb. 2018 Its rules place the onus upon anyone fingered as a possible alien to prove otherwise. The Economist, "From dusty villages to Delhi, Indians seek people to persecute," 5 July 2018 Fleet-fingered with a bright and keen tone, he’s not seen particularly often onstage in New York these days, so this one-night engagement provides a rare opportunity. New York Times, "13 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 5 July 2018 He was fingered as one of two people who forced their way into an East Garfield Park drug house and shot and stabbed four people before torching the home. William Lee, chicagotribune.com, "Fierce gang leader went from death row to respected 'Mayor of Chicago Avenue'," 29 June 2018

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

19 Jun 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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