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

Example Sentences

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
There are tons of quirky original ideas here too, everything from a young chef’s knife and finger guard set to a stuffed cauliflower. Medea Giordano Gear Team, WIRED, 26 Nov. 2022 Queen Elizabeth puts Prince Charles in his place while wagging a metaphorical finger at his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. Jacqueline Saguin, Good Housekeeping, 25 Nov. 2022 Willing to let people cut me off in traffic without reaching for the horn or the finger. Billy Baker, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Nov. 2022 Haula pleaded with fans to stop and told reporters he was hit by a chicken finger. Mike Brehm, USA TODAY, 24 Nov. 2022 Heinicke entered the starting lineup because Carson Wentz suffered a broken finger in a 12-7 loss to the Chicago Bears on Oct. 13. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 23 Nov. 2022 Still, as Jackson returns to full strength after a broken pinky finger kept him out since mid-October, the other UConn guards Hurley brought in from the transfer portal have had several opportunities to get on the court. Joe Arruda, Hartford Courant, 23 Nov. 2022 Known for his unconventional finger-picking style and his onstage posture and attitude, Johnson served as inspiration for the punk guitarists who soon emerged in the wake of Dr. Feelgood. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 23 Nov. 2022 Argentina keeper Emiliano Martíinez could only get a finger on it, and now Saudi Arabia owned an improbable 2-1 lead. Sean Gregory, Time, 22 Nov. 2022
Verb
His method quickly finds its way into the courts, where it is used to exonerate people wrongly accused of crimes and to finger the true culprits. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 20 Oct. 2022 Following the death of their building’s board president Bunny Folger, three characters — Charles, Oliver, and Mabel — set out to finger her killer. Andy Meek, BGR, 18 Sep. 2022 In addition, neither Violante nor Gonzalez ever claimed Guevara leaned on them or threatened them to finger a specific suspect, as Guevara has been alleged to do in multiple other cases. Megan Crepeau, Chicago Tribune, 14 July 2022 The permafrost around Fairbanks is discontinuous; jagged pieces of it finger north-facing slopes and enfold the low-lying valleys. Lois Parshley, Anchorage Daily News, 3 May 2022 Bennett compared the prints to finger flutings — a kind of prehistoric art made by people running their fingers over soft surfaces on cave walls. Nicoletta Lanese, Scientific American, 21 Sep. 2021 The collections celebrated hand-wrought romance and, yes, tactility—the ability to finger the pearly shell shards on a friend’s Bottega dress IRL. Chloe Malle, Vogue, 16 July 2021 Danielle escapes to the buffet to finger stale-looking pastries, sandwiches filled with mayonnaise-y salads, gloopy pasta. Jocelyn Silver, Vogue, 2 Apr. 2021 Auditors pored over his accounts in an attempt to finger him for corruption, an old tactic, but found nothing to justify prosecution. John Pomfret, The Atlantic, 25 Jan. 2021 See More

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.

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 6 Dec. 2022.

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 criminal Jack Ewing

More from Merriam-Webster on finger

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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