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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ed Musial blames a series of finger dikes the state installed in the 1980s for channeling the river past their homes. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "They’re in their 90s; the river looms ... and they don’t want government money.," 30 June 2019 After weeks of speculation about a new diamond on Meghan’s wedding finger, BAZAAR.com can reveal that Harry helped create the piece with renowned jeweler Lorraine Schwartz as a gift to mark the couple’s wedding anniversary—and their growing family. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Moving Story Behind Duchess Meghan's Stunning Lorraine Schwartz Eternity Ring," 29 June 2019 More recently, Yellowhammer added a store on Dauphin Street, in a building that beloved Mobile chicken finger chain Foosackly's had outgrown. al.com, "Free coffee: Yellowhammer delivers $1,000 wake-up call," 28 June 2019 Helmet usage is also very high, with messaging from the national government focusing on finger-wagging over increased funding for infrastructure. Copenhagenize Design Co., WIRED, "The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet, Ranked," 27 June 2019 Developed in 17th century Taiwan, Bu Dai Xi puppets are made of simple materials but use intricate hand and finger movements to dramatize their story. Terry Byrne, BostonGlobe.com, "A sound and vision for ‘Curious Incident’ that will unfold under the stars," 27 June 2019 The happy hour Korean chicken wings ($7) are finger-licking good, but a wet-nap would be welcome. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: The Florence takes unconventional plunge into dining scene," 27 June 2019 The most common injuries were to the hands and fingers at an estimated 31%, followed by head, face and ears at 22%. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "How to stay safe during your Fourth of July fireworks show," 25 June 2019 Pocillopora damicornis, commonly known as cauliflower coral; Porites cylindrica, also known as yellow finger coral; and Acropora millepora, one of a number species known as staghorn corals. Cody Clements, The Conversation, "Biodiversity helps coral reefs thrive – and could be part of strategies to save them," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about finger

Statistics for finger

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for finger

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on finger

What made you want to look up finger? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!