finger

noun
fin·ger | \ ˈfiŋ-gər \

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 \

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 \ 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

The teammates appear to be in relatively good health and spirits, waving and flashing two-finger victory signs at the camera. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Thai Soccer Players Wave in First Hospital Footage Since Dramatic Cave Rescue," 11 July 2018 While his fiancée rocks a new ring on her finger, Justin still seems to have his ex on his arm due to his still visible Selena Gomez tattoo. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Justin Bieber Still Has His Selena Gomez Tattoo Even After Getting Engaged and It's AWKWARD," 11 July 2018 But as O’Neill says, Zinke put his finger on the scale for energy and began to throw the compromise out of balance. Story Hinckley, The Christian Science Monitor, "Group effort rules the roost in Wyoming, then Washington intervenes," 10 July 2018 The elbows, wrists, and three fingers will look familiar, but the carpals (the flat part of the hand) are very long. Amy Raudenbush, Philly.com, "Hey, kids: Draw this prehistoric pteranodon for a chance to see your artwork published," 6 July 2018 Reds first-base coach Freddie Benavides also held up four fingers. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Reds manager Jim Riggleman ejected after umpire told him to 'do your job'," 4 July 2018 In the photo, the couple appear nude, with Rapinoe resting her foot on a soccer ball as Bird spins a basketball on two fingers. NBC News, "ESPN's Body Issue features same-sex couple on cover for first time," 26 June 2018 Lu was wanted for allegedly cutting off his wife's arm and two fingers on her left hand with a steak knife in Sunset Park on Thursday just after noon, according to the New York Post. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Brooklyn man who allegedly chopped off wife's arm is caught in food court near Niagara Falls," 24 June 2018 Medical records show she was treated for three fractures to the face and a bite wound to two fingers. Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, "Witness account of assault contradicts officer’s," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

So not technically fingering, but there was definitely fluid exchange. Karley Sciortino, Vogue, "Why I Choose to Pursue the Pervier Side of Life," 12 July 2018 The fence wriggled around it, fingering the hole like a wound. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "A transgender girl rises up against alien invaders in Rich Larson’s novel Annex," 8 July 2018 Ever since bitcoin’s anonymous creation, numerous people have come forward claiming to be Nakamoto; online conspiracy theories and journalistic investigations have fingered one Satoshi after another. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "Did Satoshi Nakamoto Write This Book Excerpt? A Wired Investigation," 1 July 2018 Orbán has fingered Soros (who is also a favorite villain of the American right) as the source of an international plot to destroy Hungary through migration. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Hungary just passed a “Stop Soros” law that makes it illegal to help undocumented migrants," 22 June 2018 But when Miss Nightingale discovers that the boy is a furtive thief, light-fingered and deft, making away each week with another small treasure, the whole of her history, and its loyalties and loves, flies apart. Cynthia Ozick, New York Times, "One Last Book From a Virtuoso of the Short Story," 14 May 2018 Lewis wrote in response to the administration’s efforts to finger Xi for what is quickly becoming a major diplomatic disaster. Abigail Tracy, The Hive, "“Trump Is Just a Moron”: How the President Played Himself on North Korea," 21 May 2018 Jacob Zappa stood at the corner of 9th and Highland at 7 p.m. fingering his plastic rosary and praying for Trinity Church. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Fire engulfs historic Milwaukee church, sending black smoke billowing over downtown," 15 May 2018 The supposition is that someone casually fingering a strategically bland Theory oxford shirt one minute may then get entranced by the flamboyant prints beaming out of the Valentino section. New York Times, "Nordstrom Men: Choose Your Own Adventure," 9 May 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

25 Sep 2018

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

: to identify (someone) as the person who has committed a crime

finger

noun
fin·ger | \ ˈfiŋ-gər \

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 \

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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