fin·​ger·​print·​ing | \ ˈfiŋ-gər-ˌprin-tiŋ \

Definition of fingerprinting

1 : the act or an instance of taking an ink impression of someone's fingerprints for the purpose of identification sent him in for fingerprinting also : identification using this process But he was also concerned that fingerprinting was slipping out of the hands of men like himself whom he considered "scientists" and into the hands of men like Collins whom he regarded as poorly educated clerks. — Simon Cole
2 : identification by analyzing characteristics unique to individuals genetic fingerprinting protein fingerprinting

First Known Use of fingerprinting

1891, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fingerprinting

Share fingerprinting

Statistics for fingerprinting

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fingerprinting

The first known use of fingerprinting was in 1891

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on fingerprinting

Nglish: Translation of fingerprinting for Spanish Speakers

Comments on fingerprinting

What made you want to look up fingerprinting? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


irregularly rounded

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!