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

The cover, stained and worn by the imperceptible fingerprints of generations past, reads: Disegni di Leonardo da Vinci Restaurati da Pompeo Leoni (drawings by Leonardo da Vinci conserved by Pompeo Leoni). Claudia Kalb, National Geographic, "Why Leonardo da Vinci’s brilliance endures, 500 years after his death," 12 June 2019 The fingerprints of Phish aren’t overly surprising when Vampire Weekend stretches songs to twice their studio-recording lengths. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Vampire Weekend expands on free-flowing influences at Lawn at White River State Park," 8 June 2019 Fair has a special name for a person’s distinct neural connections: the functional fingerprint. Quanta Magazine, "‘Functional Fingerprint’ May Identify Brains Over a Lifetime," 16 Aug. 2018 The idea that a person's dentition was as unique and traceable as a fingerprint was not generally accepted at the time, and is still not. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Man exonerated after 23 years in prison says detectives, dentists framed him with bogus bite-mark evidence," 24 June 2019 The images are stored and used later as acoustic fingerprints for classification of potential problems. Wayne Rash, Ars Technica, "Manufacturing memory means scribing silicon in a sea of sensors," 21 June 2019 The police are now looking for the dead’s man family after having identified him through fingerprints. Paula Rogo, Essence, "This Woman Thought She'd Taken Her Brother Off Life Support — But It Was The Wrong Man," 15 June 2019 The sisters said police later identified the man at the morgue through fingerprints. Paul P. Murphy, CNN, "How a case of mistaken identity allowed a man be taken off life support," 14 June 2019 The department had not identified the man through fingerprints because of budget cuts, the nurse said, according to the sisters. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "He died after the family took him off life support. Then he walked through the door.," 14 June 2019

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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Statistics for fingerprint

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for fingerprint

The first known use of fingerprint was in 1737

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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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