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

With his first directing hit — which brought his first directing Tony Award — Mr. Prince, also a producer of the show, left his creative fingerprints on every aspect of it. Nancy Coleman, New York Times, "‘Cabaret,’ ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and More: Hal Prince’s Hits Transformed Broadway," 31 July 2019 In contrast, even while scrubbing its fingerprints off the Netflix series, Marvel is at least feigning to impress that the Disney+ shows will relate to its upcoming movies. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "How Marvel Is Betting Big on Disney+ in Phase Four," 22 July 2019 Five Yankees earned All-Star berths and their fingerprints were everywhere: Masahiro Tanaka the winning pitcher, Chapman the save, Gary Sanchez a double and run scored, Gleyber Torres the first of what could be many All-Star hits. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "All-Star Game gives CC Sabathia, Indians fans a chance to look back: 'Thank you. And I love you.'," 10 July 2019 An agent ran his fingerprints and discovered a deportation order tied to Matias’ failure to appear at an immigration hearing scheduled after he had been caught crossing the border more than a decade earlier. Melissa Sanchez, ProPublica, "For generations, Illinois’ child welfare agency has failed to adequately serve Spanish-speaking families with children in its care.," 20 June 2019 The mistake surfaced only after authorities at the morgue took his fingerprints. nola.com, "He died after the family took him off life support; then he walked through the door," 15 June 2019 The odd thing was Silver acting as if Kitchens calling plays and having his fingerprints all over the offense is something new. Terry Pluto, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Browns: Talkin’ Freddie Kitchens, Todd Monken and building the offense — Terry Pluto," 23 June 2019 Katz was required to undergo a criminal background check, have his fingerprints taken and submit to a detailed reference check to become a Howard County substitute. Colin Campbell, Howard County Times, "Substitute charged with sexual abuse taught at 70 Howard County public schools," 19 Apr. 2018 Purdue Rundown: One of the lesser known prospects left in the tournament, Smith had his fingerprints all over the Red Raiders' second-round win over Florida. Aj Neuharth-keusch, USA TODAY, "2018 NCAA tournament: Top NBA prospects still alive in Sweet 16," 21 Mar. 2018

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

11 Aug 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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