\ ˈfist How to pronounce fist (audio) \

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

The sheikh told about 1,400 delegates of his wishes in the morning, clenching his fist to make a point, or waving a finger for emphasis. Stephen Wade, The Seattle Times, "Olympic ‘kingmaker’ Sheikh Ahmad leaves to handle court case," 28 Nov. 2018 Courtois bounced to his feet, clenched his fist and roared. Jonathan Wilson,, "Belgium's Golden Generation Shines Brightest in Ousting Brazil From World Cup," 6 July 2018 Peralta was hit by a fastball thrown by Dodgers reliever Tony Cingrani and appeared to be able to move his hand and somewhat clench his fist before leaving the game after the at-bat. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Diamondbacks' David Peralta leaves game after hand injury," 30 Apr. 2018 As Teigen laughs, Legend processes his anger over the reaction, clenching his fist — a signature Arthur move that the model referred to in her response to the comparison in February 2017. Nick Maslow,, "Yes, John Legend Knows You Think He Looks Like Arthur — Watch Him Hilariously Channel That Meme," 26 Apr. 2018 As Treviño finished his thought, two gray-haired Latina Democrats in the audience raised their fists in a show of solidarity. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "How a Bernie-ite school teacher defied the odds in District 23," 8 Mar. 2018 Police say Ray also hit the woman's father, Alfredo Buitureira, with his fist and a boot when Buitureira intervened. Fox News, "'Go back to Mexico' remark leads to hate crimes charge," 16 Sep. 2018 The man said Dlogopolski struck him in the face with his fist, causing him to fall to the ground. Staff Report,, "Norridge and Harwood Heights police reports," 13 July 2018 Officer Guillermo Ravelo was charged with striking a man with his fist during a traffic stop and hitting another citizen with a blunt object. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Police Framed 16-Year-Old for Burglaries to Boost Crime Stats: Prosecutors," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

However, the message feels ham-fisted, gimmicky, and flat. Kendra James, Harper's BAZAAR, "Captain Marvel Can't Get By on Girl Power Alone," 9 Mar. 2019 Martínez swung and got jammed, fisting a weak ground ball to first base, ending the game and leaving him with nothing besides the handle of his bat. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Mariano Rivera Elected Unanimously to Baseball Hall of Fame," 22 Jan. 2019 Another Chance for Brazil, but No Score Neymar dribbles it up, launches it into the area, but Navas fists it away. Matthew Futterman And Victor Mather, New York Times, "Brazil Gets Its First Win, a Triumph of Grit More Than Style," 23 June 2018 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

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

17 Mar 2019

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 How to pronounce fist (audio) \

Kids Definition of fist

: the hand with the fingers bent tight into the palm


\ ˈfist How to pronounce fist (audio) \

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

Comments on fist

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


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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