\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

Frustrated for allowing yet another run Saturday night against the visiting San Francisco Giants, this one a solo home run by Andrew McCutchen, Miller screamed some more, shook his fist in rage, and then just shook his head. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Shelby Miller gets roughed up by Giants in second start, says he expects more from himself," 30 June 2018 The quiet, recalcitrant man made the rounds, offering lingering embraces and vigorously shaking his fists, while in the distance thousands of blue-and white-clad fans bellowed their approval. Bruce Jenkins,, "Lionel Messi lives, and Argentina moves on," 26 June 2018 At the same ballpark where Phil Nevin and Ryan Klesko used to fling helmets and shake their fists after deep flyouts, Pads hitters are trotting the bases and pointing to the heavens. Tom Krasovic,, "Padres' home now means home runs are less rare, and that's a tradeoff," 8 June 2018 Meyer would look up pugnaciously, as Bruce would do to his former aide, and, shaking his fist under an imaginary nose, Meyer-as-Bruce would detail in no uncertain terms the task against the school whose name shall not be uttered. Bill Livingston,, "Remembering combative, sentimental Ohio State coach Earle Bruce: Bill Livingston (photos)," 20 Apr. 2018 The crowd repeatedly chanted at the bicycle cops and shook fists at them. Sam Stanton, Darrell Smith, Ed Fletcher And Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "Protest of Sacramento police shooting ends after blocking traffic but not Kings fans | The Sacramento Bee," 29 Mar. 2018 Before showing pure elation during the Bournemouth game, turning to the cameras at the end while shouting and shaking his fists in triumph., "Un-Son Hero: The Rise & Rise of Son Heung-Min at Tottenham Hotspur," 15 Mar. 2018 Nagasu shook her fists twice as her teammates gave her a standing ovation, aware of her sacrifice and courage. The Washington Post,, "Figure skater Mirai Nagasu becomes 1st American woman to land triple-axel at Olympics," 12 Feb. 2018 Below that school is a school bus and an angry mob of white citizens carrying signs, shaking fists and protesting against the notion of having black and white children attend school together. Mará Rose Williams, kansascity, "This Kansas artist will bring Brown v. Board to life in Topeka capitol building," 11 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Reality in 2018 can be ham-fisted, to be sure; the writers of history seem to have jumped the shark. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman draws a ham-fisted line from white supremacy’s past to its present," 15 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

13 Oct 2018

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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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