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

Before a recent game in Minnesota, Britton sat at his locker, lowered his sock and ran his finger over the scar on the inside of his ankle, noting that it was almost gone. Eduardo A. Encina, baltimoresun.com, "As Orioles work to trade closer Zach Britton, he's showing suitors he's only getting better," 14 July 2018 Fred brings a dazed Serena home minus her left pinky finger. Rena Gross, Billboard, "'The Handmaid's Tale': Season 2, Episode 13 Recap: 19 Startling Moments in 'The Word'," 11 July 2018 According Johnny Hall, who was dead 48 hours later, Sasser aimed his finger like a gun at them. Bill Torpy, ajc, "Torpy at Large: Something stinks in Brunswick, and it ain’t paper mills," 11 July 2018 But probably none of the billions who own a smartphone need critics wagging their fingers at us for these excesses. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Driving Without a Smartphone," 10 July 2018 Set Up a Game Room When your guests’ fingers start getting pruney from one too many laps in the pool, take advantage of a room with indoor-outdoor flow to continue the fresh-air fun inside. ELLE Decor, "Now *This* Is How You Throw a Grown-Up Pool Party," 6 July 2018 The smooth, beveled bottom provides a comfy shelf for your pinky finger and allows the cup to sit well in your hand. The Editors, Outside Online, "What Outside Readers Bought in June," 3 July 2018 Altomare on Friday denied earlier reports that Ramos had damaged his fingers to prevent identification. Abigail Abrams, Time, "What to Know About the Suspected Capital Gazette Shooter," 29 June 2018 Yesterday, Kim Kardashian-West posted a photo in honor of Khloe's birthday, in which Khloe conspicuously hid her left fingers while holding True and Chicago. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Khloé Kardashian Has Reportedly Been Hiding Her Ring Finger in Photos," 28 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

6 Nov 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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Comments on finger

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