fingerprint

noun
fin·​ger·​print | \ ˈfiŋ-gər-ˌprint How to pronounce fingerprint (audio) \

Definition of fingerprint

1 : the impression of a fingertip on any surface also : an ink impression of the lines upon the fingertip taken for the purpose of identification
2 : something that identifies: such as
a : a trait, trace, or characteristic revealing origin or responsibility
b : analytical evidence (such as a spectrogram) that characterizes an object or substance especially : the chromatogram or electrophoretogram obtained by cleaving a protein by enzymatic action and subjecting the resulting collection of peptides to two-dimensional chromatography or electrophoresis
c : the base-pair pattern in an individual's DNA obtained by DNA fingerprinting

Illustration of fingerprint

Illustration of fingerprint

fingerprint 1: 1 arch, 2 loop, 3 whorl, 4 composite

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Other Words from fingerprint

fingerprint transitive verb

Examples of fingerprint in a Sentence

Detectives found his fingerprints all over the gun. Everyone has a unique fingerprint.
Recent Examples on the Web But the process to get a license is cumbersome, with a fingerprint appointment required, and a trip to a local police department. Margaret Menge, Washington Examiner, "Indiana looks to scrap carry permits for handguns, allow ‘constitutional carry’," 12 Feb. 2021 Some touchscreen functions will always disable when the phone is inside the pouch—such as fingerprint touchscreen locks—but pouches constructed with ultra-thin materials will keep most other touchscreen functions enabled. Field & Stream, "Best Waterproof Phone Pouch: Smart Ways to Protect A Smartphone," 5 Jan. 2021 And including a fingerprint scan, which would require them to make a risky trip to New York or Washington. Dara Lind, ProPublica, "A Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance for Liberian Immigrants Has Been “Hamstrung” by COVID — and Trump’s Dysfunctional Immigration Bureaucracy," 16 Dec. 2020 This phone sports a longer-lasting battery, fingerprint ID on the touchscreen, but a measly 32 GBs of storage, which won't last very long. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Consumer guide: 15 Samsung Galaxy smartphones, priced from $99 to $1,999," 11 Dec. 2020 The fingerprint authentication system can also be used to start the car and also identify the driver, at that point the vehicle will then adjust settings such as seating position based on who is driving. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "2022 Genesis GV70 Engines Confirmed, U.S. Arrival Set for 2021," 8 Dec. 2020 Its surface was marked with fingerprint smears and a streak of blood, possibly left by someone who cut themselves on the sharp metal edges while trying to climb on top. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah’s mystery desert sculpture: art or graffito?," 27 Nov. 2020 The Department of Energy supported climate fingerprint research for over 25 years. Ben Santer, Scientific American, "An Open Letter to Joe Biden," 7 Nov. 2020 The park later changed its policy to give customers the option of using a fingerprint registration system. Fortune, "The world’s largest surveillance system is growing—and so is the backlash," 3 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fingerprint.' 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 fingerprint

1737, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for fingerprint

Time Traveler

The first known use of fingerprint was in 1737

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Statistics for fingerprint

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fingerprint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fingerprint. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for fingerprint

fingerprint

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fingerprint

: the mark that is made by pressing the tip of a finger on a surface
: a mark of this kind made in ink for the purpose of identifying a person
: something (such as genetic material) that can be used to identify a person

fingerprint

noun
fin·​ger·​print | \ ˈfiŋ-gər-ˌprint How to pronounce fingerprint (audio) \

Kids Definition of fingerprint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the unique pattern of marks made by pressing the tip of a finger on a surface

fingerprint

verb
fingerprinted; fingerprinting

Kids Definition of fingerprint (Entry 2 of 2)

: to obtain fingerprints in order to identify a person

fingerprint

noun
fin·​ger·​print | \ -ˌprint How to pronounce fingerprint (audio) \

Medical Definition of fingerprint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the impression of a fingertip on any surface especially : an ink impression of the lines on the fingertip taken for purpose of identification
2 : analytical evidence (as a spectrogram) that characterizes an object or substance especially : the chromatogram or electrophoretogram obtained by cleaving a protein by enzymatic action and subjecting the resulting collection of peptides to two-dimensional chromatography or electrophoresis — compare dna fingerprinting

fingerprint

transitive verb

Medical Definition of fingerprint (Entry 2 of 2)

: to analyze (as spectrographically or chromatographically) in order to determine uniquely the identifying characteristics, origin, or constitution of each protein was fingerprinted

Other Words from fingerprint

fingerprinting noun

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fingerprint

noun
fin·​ger·​print

Legal Definition of fingerprint

: the impression of a fingertip on any surface also : an ink impression of the lines upon the fingertip taken for the purpose of identification (as during the booking procedure following an arrest) — see also dna fingerprinting

Other Words from fingerprint

fingerprint transitive verb
fingerprinting noun

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Comments on fingerprint

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