finger

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

Definition of finger

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of the five terminating members of the hand : a digit of the forelimb especially : one other than the thumb
2a : something that resembles a finger a narrow finger of land
b : a part of a glove into which a finger is inserted
c : a projecting piece (such as a pawl for a ratchet) brought into contact with an object to affect its motion
3 : the breadth of a finger
4 : interest, share often used in the phrase have a finger in the pie
5 : bird sense 10 usually used with the

finger

verb
fingered; fingering\ ˈfiŋ-​g(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce finger (audio) \

Definition of finger (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to touch or feel with the fingers
2a : to play (a musical instrument) with the fingers
b : to play (notes, chords, etc.) with a specific fingering
c : to mark the notes of (a music score) as a guide in playing
3 : to point out : identify
4 : to extend into or penetrate in the shape of a finger

intransitive verb

1 : to touch or handle something
2a : to use the fingers in playing a musical instrument
b : to have a certain fingering used of a musical instrument
3 : to extend in the shape or manner of a finger

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from finger

Noun

fingerlike \ ˈfiŋ-​gər-​ˌlīk How to pronounce finger (audio) \ adjective

Examples of finger in a Sentence

Noun Don't stick your fingers in the cookie batter! He slipped the ring onto her finger. The baby held onto my thumb with her tiny fingers. She ran her fingers through his hair. He drummed his fingers on the table impatiently. a finger of land extending into the sea She was so mad, she gave him the finger. Some angry driver flipped me the finger on the highway this morning. Verb He was fingered as a suspect. thus far authorities haven't been able to finger the person who's been lighting fires around town
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But Republicans have aligned themselves closely with McConnell, who has been warning since this summer that the GOP won't lift a finger to raise the debt limit. Manu Raju And Lauren Fox, CNN, 5 Oct. 2021 The ring Seaman will sport on his finger during the ceremony next month also has ties to his father. BostonGlobe.com, 8 Sep. 2021 The best way to monitor your health during this time is to use a pulse oximeter, a small device that clips on your finger and measures your blood oxygen levels. Frederick N. Rasmussen, baltimoresun.com, 13 Aug. 2021 The best way to monitor your health during this time is to use a pulse oximeter, a small device that clips on your finger and measures your blood oxygen levels. Kristen Griffith, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 10 Aug. 2021 Thornton-Allan shared Walker's video on his Instagram Stories and posted a photo of Walker sitting outside and holding a cigarette with the ring on her finger. Alexia Fernández, PEOPLE.com, 9 Aug. 2021 Not long after, the couple had dinner with a view of the city and Kujawska flashed a diamond ring on her finger. oregonlive, 28 July 2021 A$AP Rocky, on the other hand, dressed in a black bomber jacket, boots, trucker hat, and a pretty massive diamond ring on his finger. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 11 July 2021 For the first time in program history, Mississippi State fans can ring cowbells with a ring on their finger. Nick Suss, USA TODAY, 1 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bennett compared the prints to finger flutings — a kind of prehistoric art made by people running their fingers over soft surfaces on cave walls. Nicoletta Lanese, Scientific American, 21 Sep. 2021 The collections celebrated hand-wrought romance and, yes, tactility—the ability to finger the pearly shell shards on a friend’s Bottega dress IRL. Chloe Malle, Vogue, 16 July 2021 Danielle escapes to the buffet to finger stale-looking pastries, sandwiches filled with mayonnaise-y salads, gloopy pasta. Jocelyn Silver, Vogue, 2 Apr. 2021 Auditors pored over his accounts in an attempt to finger him for corruption, an old tactic, but found nothing to justify prosecution. John Pomfret, The Atlantic, 25 Jan. 2021 Escape to rural roads in the Mazda, finger the paddle shifters in manual mode and it’s a fun box with tight handling and an eager drivetrain. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 19 Sep. 2020 As forensic virologists search to uncover the origins of COVID-19, bats have been fingered as a likely source. Diya Chacko, Los Angeles Times, 21 Apr. 2020 Families stalked the produce aisles, fingering cilantro and scallions (scarcities elsewhere), juggling cannisters of Lysol wipes and packages of flour (which had disappeared throughout the city). Bryan Washington, The New Yorker, 6 Apr. 2020 But this occurs only for the hand that fingers the strings. Quanta Magazine, 24 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'finger.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of finger

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1521, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

History and Etymology for finger

Noun

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German fingar finger

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About finger

Time Traveler for finger

Time Traveler

The first known use of finger was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near finger

fingent

finger

finger alphabet

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for finger

Last Updated

11 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Finger.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/finger. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for finger

finger

noun

English Language Learners Definition of finger

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one of the five long parts of the hand that are used for holding things especially : one of the four that are not the thumb
: something that is long and thin and looks like a finger
: the part of a glove into which a finger is placed

finger

verb

English Language Learners Definition of finger (Entry 2 of 2)

: to touch (something) with your fingers
: to identify (someone) as the person who has committed a crime

finger

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

Kids Definition of finger

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one of the five divisions of the end of the hand including the thumb
2 : something that resembles a finger a finger of land
3 : the part of a glove into which a finger goes

finger

verb
fingered; fingering

Kids Definition of finger (Entry 2 of 2)

: to touch with the fingers : handle

finger

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

Medical Definition of finger

: any of the five terminating members of the hand : a digit of the forelimb especially : one other than the thumb

Keep scrolling for more

finger

transitive verb
fin·​ger
fingered; fingering

Legal Definition of finger

: to accuse or identify as guilty was fingered simply because he fit the stereotype of a young, black street criminal— Jack Ewing

More from Merriam-Webster on finger

Nglish: Translation of finger for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of finger for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about finger

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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