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

Ebony ran a series of articles suggesting Johnson’s death was no accident, and pointing a finger — using pseudonyms — at the Bell brothers, according to the defamation lawsuit, which was filed five years ago in Georgia federal court. Robert Channick, chicagotribune.com, "Bankrupt Johnson Publishing is set to auction off its Ebony photo archives, but it still faces $5 million defamation lawsuit over gym-mat death coverage," 12 July 2019 The driver and passenger, under questioning, began pointing fingers at one another, the complaint says. Patrick Perron, The Mercury News, "Two California Marines charged with smuggling immigrants into the United States," 10 July 2019 The driver and passenger, under questioning, began pointing fingers at one another, the complaint says. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "Marines charged with smuggling immigrants into the United States," 9 July 2019 In the case of both accidents — the first involving a Lion Air flight last October, the second of an Ethiopian Airlines flight in March — investigators have pointed the finger at software intended to prevent the plane from stalling on ascents. NBC News, "Saudi airline cancels $6B Boeing order in favor of Airbus. Who's next?," 8 July 2019 Former Obama officials have pointed the finger at Trump, arguing that his decision to leave the nuclear deal was the reason for heightened tensions in the region. Fox News, "Obama’s ‘original sin’ led to Iran’s uranium enrichment, James Carafano says," 6 July 2019 Perhaps anticipating such an outcome, administration officials began pointing fingers at one another and assigning blame in case of disappointing attendance or any other unforeseen complications. Michael D. Shear, New York Times, "Washington Prepares for a July 4 Spectacle, Starring and Produced by President Trump," 3 July 2019 Newman, who recently returned from a stint on the injured list, points the finger at Parry as the reason for this run of major leaguers with a Titan background. Pomerado News, "Bob Parry respected for teaching ‘the Poway way’," 3 July 2019 After leaders in both chambers pointed fingers at each other on Saturday, House Speaker Larry Householder tried to strike a somewhat more conciliatory tone on Sunday. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland.com, "Ohio legislature OKs band-aid budget after missing legal deadline," 30 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

17 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

something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!