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 fingering (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 fingerlike (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 This can be remedied by moving the adjustable pocket clip to a position that can guide your finger to the button. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "8 Survival Lights You Can Depend on in an Emergency," 2 July 2020 The beauty of capitalism, however, is that the market’s invisible hand eventually puts its finger on such mediocrity and complacency. Adam Seessel, Fortune, "Valuation: How a 1990s crisis poised this aerospace stock for a great run in the 2020s," 25 June 2020 That Trump turned his itchy Twitter finger on the NFL and its players multiple times in the last 10 days is hardly a surprise. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Trump's latest criticism of NFL protests appears to be falling on deaf ears," 18 June 2020 In the middle of the challenge, Kyle gets his finger caught in a metal piece of debris but continues on. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "The Challenge: Total Madness recap: Where's Dee?," 18 June 2020 Another type goes into the front inside part of the nostril, called the anterior nares, about as far as someone would stick their pinky finger in to pick their nose. Catherine Ho, SFChronicle.com, "Don’t want a long swab up your nose? Bay Area coronavirus test sites are trying alternatives," 15 June 2020 In the fiction of the video, a boy stands in an empty swimming pool, pointing his finger as a gun and shooting. Elizabeth Alexander, The New Yorker, "The Trayvon Generation," 15 June 2020 Test the soil for dryness every day or two using your finger or use a moisture meter or soil moisture indicator system (changes color as the soil dries out). oregonlive, "Ask an expert: Conifers in containers need special care," 13 June 2020 More important, his finger had flicked off the safety and moved down into the rifle’s trigger guard. August Cole, Wired, "AI, AR, and the (Somewhat) Speculative Future of a Tech-Fueled FBI," 5 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As forensic virologists search to uncover the origins of COVID-19, bats have been fingered as a likely source. Diya Chacko, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: Plans for a worst-case scenario," 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, "The Grocers on Houston’s Front Lines," 6 Apr. 2020 But this occurs only for the hand that fingers the strings. Quanta Magazine, "The Brain Reshapes Our Malleable Senses to Fit the World," 24 Mar. 2020 Unlike online video gamers and e-sports players, Urban, Zahler, and tens of thousands of other pinballers worldwide swap turns—and possibly worse—fingering flipper buttons and nudging machines with their bare hands. Bill Lascher, Fortune, "No quarter: Coronavirus is killing pinball halls—and all the other communal spaces we call ‘home’," 21 Mar. 2020 It’s more than a little unsettling to take your toddler to forest school in the very park where Paul from your year once simultaneously (and famously) fingered two girls on the same bench. Nell Frizzell, refinery29.com, "What It’s Really Like To Move Home As An Adult," 23 Feb. 2020 Russia’s low regard for international law was highlighted again last week in a report that fingered the FSB, Russia’s main spy agency, in the killing of a Chechen dissident in Berlin last August. The Economist, "Much ado about “such” The $50bn Yukos judgment against Russia turns on a single word," 20 Feb. 2020 Suspicions have followed several teams for years; the Dodgers have been fingered by the Mets and Brewers each of the past two seasons. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "After role in Astros' sign-stealing scandal, can Carlos Beltran manage former foes with Mets?," 15 Jan. 2020 Choose your provider Providers: Restart Free Preview Expires in Sign In A surprising culprit has been fingered for very high mercury levels found in mountain lions living near the California coast -- marine fog. Fox News, "Toxic fog blamed for dangerously high mercury levels in mountain lions," 4 Dec. 2019

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

Statistics for finger

Last Updated

30 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Finger.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/finger. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for finger

finger

noun
How to pronounce finger (audio)

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
chiefly US, informal : 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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on finger

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

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!