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

Optional fingerprint readers can be designed into the power button, too. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Dell Latitude refresh banks on connectivity, battery life," 1 May 2019 Even Olvera Street has Times fingerprints all over it, championed by Harry Chandler to honor the city’s Mexican roots. Chris Erskine, latimes.com, "As we pack up, a bittersweet ode to a workplace that was my second home," 29 June 2018 The tool also had digital fingerprints found in Destover, the name given to malware that was used in the Sony Pictures intrusion. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "As two Koreas shake hands, Hidden Cobra hackers wage espionage campaign," 27 Apr. 2018 These cuts have Vice President Mike Pence’s fingerprints all over them. Nicole Brodeur, The Seattle Times, "Planned Parenthood, King County file suits over cuts to teen-pregnancy prevention effort," 22 Feb. 2018 The entire thing has the fingerprints of Aaron Goodwin, Lillard's agent, all over it. John Canzano, OregonLive.com, "Canzano: Will Trail Blazers answer Damian Lillard's cry for help?," 23 Jan. 2018 Others put more faith in data from third-party groups that oppose tax cuts, or for that matter, anything that has President Trump's fingerprints on it. Anchorage Daily News, "Much-needed tax reform is a step forward for Alaskans," 7 Jan. 2018 People’s sneezing tendencies can be almost as individual as their fingerprints. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Quick Question: Why Do We Sneeze?," 8 Mar. 2019 Though each holds its own when worn alone, Michele intended for them to be layered with one (or many!) of the line’s seven eaux de parfum so that each #GucciGang member can create his or her own unique olfactory fingerprint. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Meet the Striking New Gucci Perfumes Plucked From Alessandro Michele’s Madcap Mind," 8 Jan. 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

19 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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