\ˈfist \

Definition of fist 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the hand clenched with the fingers doubled into the palm and the thumb doubled inward across the fingers

2 : the hand closed as in grasping : clutch


fisted; fisting; fists

Definition of fist (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to grip with the fist : handle

2 : to clench into a fist

Examples of fist in a Sentence


He pounded his fist on the table in anger. She pounded on the door with both fists. He defiantly shook his fist at the policeman.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

All was confusion, and a gnashing of teeth, and a shaking of fists, and the clouds of civil war. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "The Book of Donald," 4 Oct. 2018 Now, his illustrator’s touchscreen is covered in mock-ups of Mad Max–style aquatic space arenas, squids with tentacle fists, and a tiny goldfish driving a robot great white. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Heroes of Science Who Are Unlocking the Brain," 3 Oct. 2018 Video posted on social media sites showed a mob kicking one of the men in the town square and beating him with cudgels and fists. Fox News, "Mexico mob kills detective, injures 3 others in attack," 28 Sep. 2018 The suspect, believed to be the girl's mother, allegedly threw Rodriguez to the ground and starting hitting him with her fists, then the brick. CBS News, "Woman charged with attempted murder in beating of man, 92, with brick," 13 July 2018 Brown alleged that Brooks, with balled fists, knocked her backward over a stack of folding chairs at the restaurant. Kimberly Veklerov,, "Oakland to pay $2.2 million to settle ex-Black Panther’s claim," 12 July 2018 Then Nikola Mirotic’s face met Bobby Portis’ fist, and rookie Lauri Markkaken became the star around whom every decision would be made. Steve Rosenbloom,, "Why the Bulls had no choice but to match Zach LaVine’s offer sheet," 9 July 2018 Lovullo approached Molina during batting practice, apologized, bumped fists, and departed with Lovullo patting Molina on the shoulder. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Cardinals' Yadier Molina, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo make amends before game," 2 July 2018 Does raising a fist, as some players on the New England Patriots did last season, constitute disrespect? Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, "New NFL Anthem Rule: Players Must Stand or Stay in Locker Room," 23 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There’s not a lot the target country can do to stop them, beyond pointing out and ridiculing ham-fisted propaganda. Michael Anton, WSJ, "Why Trump’s Detractors Cry ‘Treason’," 19 July 2018 So far, these playoffs have been a hit, with the league double-fisting Game 7s during the conference finals. Jerry Brewer,, "Cavs-Warriors matchup, the 'Fast and Furious' of the NBA, is a sequel we can't help but watch," 31 May 2018 The Crew failed to capitalize on breakaways, substitute Cristian Martinez faking several times, then failing to shoot (70th), and Zardes’s shot fisted away by Matt Turner (75th). Frank Dell’apa,, "Lalas Abubakar sends Crew past Revolution," 20 May 2018 To be decided in camp ... Fans weren't the only ones ready to fist-bump Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers, who's back for a 17th NFL season. Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, "Is a Panthers defensive line with 3 Pro Bowlers and Julius Peppers underappreciated?," 12 July 2018 Morton nodded, briefly sat alone with his thoughts and then got up to fist-bump Kemp. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Astros pick up messy win over Rangers, clinch series," 10 June 2018 South Korea, after decades under strongmen who were less repressive but nevertheless still iron-fisted, has emerged as a democracy so vibrant that citizens peacefully turfed a president from office last year. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "Talk of peace with North Korea has the South wondering: Will this time be different?," 28 Apr. 2018 Able to fist fight in trenches and hold his own against power players. Joe Noga,, "Braden Smith, Auburn OG: 2018 NFL Draft profile (video)," 5 Mar. 2018 Country star Luke Combs was seen walk-in through the crowd double-fisting whiskey and Coke cocktails. Mark Gray,, "Nonstop BTS Chants, J. Lo's Fake Cash: What You Didn't See on TV at the Billboard Music Awards," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fist.' 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 fist


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


1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fist


Middle English, from Old English fȳst; akin to Old High German fūst fist, Polish pięść, and probably to Old English fīf five

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Statistics for fist

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fist

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

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More Definitions for fist



English Language Learners Definition of fist

: the hand with its fingers bent down into the palm


\ˈfist \

Kids Definition of fist

: the hand with the fingers bent tight into the palm


\ˈfist \

Medical Definition of fist 

: the hand clenched with the fingers doubled into the palm and the thumb doubled inward across the fingers

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More from Merriam-Webster on fist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fist

Spanish Central: Translation of fist

Nglish: Translation of fist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fist for Arabic Speakers

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